Street Dogs of Crete


This filthy, matted little girl greeted us on arrival to our Kritsa home in January. A friendly soul, she wanted attention as much as food. Neighbours who also fed her said she’d been living rough since November.

We concluded she had been dumped as an unwanted pet. Sadly this is not uncommon. Even in public places such as the airport, dogs look for scraps of food or a kind word. In some parks dogs form packs and live according to their own rules. It always amazes me how stray dogs usually have sweet natures.


Photo courtesy of my neighbour Yvonne Smith

After just a few days this dog had me worried about what would happen when we left Crete. Local inquiries drew a blank, no one knew where she’d come from and no one wanted her.

I think it’s important for me to say that the majority of dogs in Kritsa are well cared for, especially those who are integral to farming or hunting. Many happily view the world from the back of pick up trucks, but I’m not so sure about those that ride in the foot-well of scooters!

When we first lived in Crete sixteen years ago, the only dogs seen on a lead seemed to be owned by foreigners. Now pet dogs are seen more often, and I’ve recently noticed owners picking up the dog mess too, so things are improving. However, abandoned and cruelly treated dogs are still very evident.

Thank goodness there are two very effective organisations locally who were able to help me as I sought a home for our scruffy friend. Hector’s House is a shelter and re-homing centre and AMBER’S Hope Animal Rescue  co-ordinates care and re-homing. Click on the highlighted links (above) to see their Facebook pages.

Although Hector’s House had no room to take the dog they advertised her plight on their Facebook page resulting in an amazing offer of a home in Holland. However, a contact of Amber’s Hope offered an immediate home in Elounda, so off she went.

Hector’s House:

If you Click Here it will take you to the website of Hector’s House where you can find information about them, their services, how you can get involved, and of course how to donate. I was shocked to learn just how many dogs are housed at Hector’s House and the high level of resources it needs on a daily basis.

I understand Hectors House are working on a joint venture with a UK organisation to re-home dogs. If I find out more I’ll add details here. Meanwhile, you can find out all about Hector’s House with a simple Click Here.

Amber’s Hope Animal Rescue:

This organisation exclusively uses their Facebook presence until their website is ready. Tracee Walton, the driving force behind the organisation, told me it was named in memory of her own rescue dog Amber after she was cruelly murdered in their garden in Elounda. Now, along with her husband and band of supporters, they help dogs in her memory.  

Tracee also told me, ‘We foster, we neuter (owned dogs, stray dogs, dogs to be re-homed) any dogs we can get who are not already done and when/where we can recognise owners who are open to the idea. We help people with vet bills. We help people who need food for their pets. We fundraise for all the above, and sometimes pay to send dogs to foster homes or help pay for flights to escort dogs. Whatever we do, wherever and whenever we do it, we do it all because we have the most amazing group of supporters. At the moment we have an appeal running for a dog who has been shot, and 3 pups with mange. Over the last 3 years we have re-homed over 400 dogs.’

Once Amber’s Hope has a website with a secure donation button I will update this post. Meanwhile, if you want to donate, contact me via the form below and I’ll give you details of how to make a donation via pay pal.

Finally, if you live in Crete, and don’t want to commit to a dog on a full time basis, you might enjoy short term fostering. If so, contact either organisation for details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s