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Fazoo shelter for strays burned down; only a few animals rescued

A shelter for stray dogs and cats was burned down by the blaze in south-eastern Attica on Monday, while an unknown number of animals burned alive. Just seven dogs and one cat were rescued.

With posts on social media, the owner of Fazoo farm shelter in Lagonisi was calling for help from volunteers and drivers short time after the fire broke out in Neos Kouveras as the strong winds were spreading the flames quickly.

It was ultimately two of the shelter volunteers who “jumped” into the fire and managed to rescue the dogs and the cat. Both the humans and the animals suffered burn injuries.

Although not official, on some posts it is said that 14 animals were burned alive, in other uploaded later that the loss was 40 cats and 25 dogs.

Hours later the owner Marianthi Zabeta posted on social media: “We burned down. End.” She thanked volunteers Thenia and Elena who did what they could as saved as many animals as possilbe.

It is noted that animal lovers from the social media community tried to reach the shelter in time, they complained that police did not allow them, as there have been obviously no safety paths for evacuations of all kinds, and had closed all roads.

The aid of the state in animal rescue during the fire that has been burning since 12:30 Monday noon was that the relevant General Secretariat issued an announcement saying that volunteers can call for information under a certain number.

The Fazoo Farm for stray animals was in operation in the last 12 years.

Marianthi Zabeta posted later on social media:

“For so many years we’ve been begging for adoptions, hosting… well now we won’t beg again… 10 [animals] left… and I don’t know how many have run away … because we opened the doors for them to leave… about 14 were burned… and when even our mother didn’t know us… now TV channels call us for a juicy story. After this disaster, I’m just finished… all I want is to die.. but I won’t since some have survived. it’s just that me and animal welfare are finished.”

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3 comments

  1. These poor little creatures 😢 It’s so heartbreaking 💔 I bet there were ways to rescue them but for the police they were “just” animals!!! Shame on this country’s police and the government that they are still thinking animal lifes are not worth than human lifes….

    • Must say, after over 30 years of travelling around Greece, it has become MUCH better! It is still a lot to do but it is improving. Nowadays you can see that there are animal abuse cases that are brought to court and they get big money to pay. It is a hard job to turn around some peoples ways of looking at animals and it, sadly enough, takes time. Have seen a lot of mishandling during the years but now there are shelters, spade and neutre programs and more people really cares! It is moving in the right direction but MUCH more has to be done.

    • Sadly, in situations such as this, the police are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Most of those police officers and firefighters would have been pretty devastated by the decisions that they had to make and most likely had received a non-negotiable brief from their commanders well before the calls began to come in.