On Saturday 31 January, a friend in Ioannina (northern Greece) sent me the following email .... another shocking report of poisoning, one of many received in the past couple of weeks. At the end of the report is the mayor's name, address etc .... PLEASE write to him, expressing your disgust, but please keep your letter as polite as you can (yes, I know, not easy....).
URGENT: One of the TV reports about the poisoning has been put on You Tube:http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=LT65qP-61kg
PLEASE leave a comment (those of you who speak Greek, write in Greek, others in English) and ask your friends to do the same .... once there are sufficient number of comments (at least 200), they will be printed out & passed on to the press AND included with a letter to the mayor...... PLEASE do this without delay; we must pile on as much pressure as we can on the mayor....
"...On Wednesday evening, 28 January ‘09, 5 dogs were found poisoned in the central square of Ioannina. All dogs were alive when found, but only one was saved. It was no coincidence that Wednesday night was chosen – a day when the shops are closed and the town is relatively empty and the 28th was the first fine day in a month of so much rain that the attempts of even the most persistent poisoner would have been thwarted. The Deputy Mayor didn’t waste time in publicly condemning the poisoning as a random act by an insensitive, callous citizen. Perhaps, but the following day revealed 11 more dogs poisoned at another park in the city and all over the city those who feed stray animals are reporting missing dogs. One can’t help but remember election time 2004. Two days before the leader of a major Greek political party was to address a public meeting in the central square it was the same scenario. The same local authority, the same Mayor, the same easy solution – 13 dogs poisoned in the central square of Ioannina. There is always a reaction by a small group of citizens when animals are deliberately poisoned, but this time the reaction in Ioannina has been intense. The poisoning was covered by two local television channels, who didn’t hesitate to show dogs convulsing as they slowly died an agonising death. Two local newspapers covered the incident and printed letters in which citizens expressed their disgust. Students reacted quickly by calling a meeting to prepare posters and leaflets condemning the incident. Another open meeting will be held on Thursday 5 February at 7.30pm (Workers’ Centre, Yiosef Eligia St). For those of us who witness poisoning all too often, it is a relief to have this support and in many cases from people who are not necessarily animal lovers, but who condemn poisoning for the violent, barbaric crime it is. However, we also know that somewhere in the Town Hall, ‘they’ are smiling to themselves, because despite all our reactions, they have achieved what they wanted to achieve. For those of you who also want to express your disgust that these crimes continue to occur on a daily basis in Greece, please write to the Mayor of Ioannina. The culprits, public or private, are never prosecuted for poisoning, as is the case with those who abandon their animals to this fate with a clear conscience and the surety that they will never be investigated or apprehended. In similar fashion, the local authorities responsible for animal welfare in Greece ignore their responsibilities, relying on the generosity of other Europeans and unpaid volunteers to undertake the care of Greece’s hundreds and thousands of stray animals....."
Nikolaos Gontas Mayor of Ioannina
Plateai A. Papandreou 5
Fax: + 30 26510 01010