In additiion signing the petition, also, please send a letter to the Minister and his deputy listed below, and a copy to the newspapers & TV below:

Mr Alexandros Kontos, Minister of Agriculture   
Mr Konstantinos Kiltidis, Deputy Minister of Agriculture
Address, fax & telephoen number for both:
Kapnokoptiriou 6, 102 76, Athens, Greece
Tel: 0030 212 5753
Fax: 0030 822 9188

MEDIA (newspaper + TV:
epistoles@tanea.gr;  elef@enet.gr;  thesselef@enet.gr;    newsline@alter.gr

Honourable Mayor/ Minister

I am writing regarding your decision to shut down the first aid station of EKPAZ, the shelter for the protection and rehabilitation of wild animals in northern Greece.

Until recently, EKPAZ was permitted to operate in a basement in the Ampelokipoi borough of Thessaloniki, as the only shelter to treat and protect hundreds of mammals and birds injured in the wetlands of northern Greece; and their only chance of survival was the shelter in Thessaloniki where they were rescued and treated by generous volunteers who worked hard to rehabilitate and return them to the wild.

For years, these volunteers have been desperately trying to get the attention of local authorities and MPs to get help for the shelter due to its difficulties for lack of public funding.  So far not only have they been completely ignored, but now the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture decided to shut it down due to its precarious conditions.  But how could it be in a better condition when the local authorities have never lifted a finger to help.  Furthermore, knowing the Greek mentality and the government's policies on such issues, a new shelter is not due to be found soon or late.

Meanwhile, since no animals can be taken into the shelter until a new location is defined, countless animals will be dying in miserable situations, and the poorer the Greek fauna will become, as there is not a single person, a veterinarian or a whole organization with EKPAZ's qualifications and its 20 years of action in the area, treating 1000 to 1500 animals per year.

Therefore, we beg you to do all in your power to reinstate the shelter as well as allow for financial help so this very important center will again be able to operate and save thousands of defenseless wild animals in Greece.

Sincerely yours,

Full name
City, country
Dear people,

Greece is a country of former cultural wealth and of current natural beauty where people line up to visit and bathe under the Mediterranean sun. Then there is the other side of the story which is not so glamorous.  Greece has a horrific record on animal abuse (in special to stray dogs and cats), and animal concerned citizens are treated with total disregard. However, this page was not created to address the Greek animal abuse in general, but to help a wildlife rescue in Thessaloniki.  The rescue place which is run entirely by volunteers, including veterinarians and many caring citizens has been shut down by the local government simply because it was a very humble space.  The photos below show one tiny aspect of the work that caring citizens in Greece were performing at no cost to the government whatsoever.  Today, injured wild animals of Thessaloniki do not have anyone to help them, and many are dying totally unattended to. 

PETITION -- click to sign: http://www.petitiononline.com/Ekpaz/

To the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Alexandros Kontos
Every year it receives thousands of wild wounded animals such as eagles, owls, vultures, swans, foxes, hedgehogs, deer, weasels, even coati and monkeys. For more than 20 years it is run by volunteers, who every single day are struggling to cope with the caring and rehabilitation of these animals that are constantly harmed by humans. Throughout all these years the hospital received no help whatsoever from the government, not even the local authorities, despite cries for financial help to provide for medical equipment, and other basic needs.

Instead of help, the government sent the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture to inspect the facilities and order its closure due to its poor conditions. Because of this order, instead of receiving help, the shelter is no longer allowed to accept wild animals and the facility completely closed by January 29th. With this action, wild animals from that region in Greece will be completely left to die without any help from ANYONE.

The Greek government is infamous for its neglect, and indeed, contempt for animals. Greece has a long history of animal abuse, such as constant poisoning of stray animals, and abandonment of pets.  Now, probably fed up with the constant cry for help, the government decides to solve the problem once and for all, by shutting down one of Northern Greece's 'gems', a valuable shelter for the beautiful Greek wildlife.

We therefore ask from the government not only to find a proper location for the shelter but also, finally, provide us with the financial assistance and the medical equipment, the lack of which was the reason for the shelter to shut down.
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