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With the tremendous interest we had in these trips, we have added a new Greece Humanitourismâ„¢ Adventure for May 2011

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GREECE: JUNE 12-22, 2009

This trip is designed for people who want to make a difference in the lives of animals and the people who help them. Our contacts all speak English so there is no need to be concerned about a language barrier. Our project and adventure will be in the Zagoria region, a magnificently beautiful part of the country. While foreigners vacation in the islands, the Greeks vacation in Zagoria. It is an amazingly beautiful part of the country and offers a different perspective on Greece than the highly touristed areas.

We will provide hands-on assistance in education, care and feeding programs for the neglected, abused, abandoned and mistreated dog popluation of the area around Ioannina, located in the mountains of the central mainland, the Zagoria region. We may also assist in a spay/neuter program, the care or rescue of sick or injured dogs and other support efforts. No special skills or knowledge are required for the assistance projects. Anyone who has a desire to help is welcome. If you do have special skills in any of these areas, we can find additional ways of incorporating those into the project.

Following our humanitarian work in Ioannina, we will embark on an adventure tour of the beautiful mountainous region, sampling activities in the local area, ripe with opportunities in trekking, rafting, sea kayaking/canoeing, culture and history. The area is known for its rich history, geographic variety and spectacular scenery. Historic regions offer a rare glimpse of life in ancient Greece. We will be joined on our adventure by Lakis, a lifelong native of the area who has explored the area extensively throughout his life and has an intimate knowledge of the landscape.

When we return to Athens, we will have an amazing group dinner with animal welfare advocates in the Athens region to be inspired by their commitment and ongoing tireless efforts to make change in their own country.

You may also have the opportunity to adopt a dog from Greece or to transport rescue dogs to homes in your country of residence.

A portion of proceeds from the trip will also be earmarked for the projects. We also welcome donations below. We've been able to donate veterinary supplies with past donations and continue to work toward providing additional veterinary supplies and other desperately needed items.

Trip Cost:  $2595

Reserve your spot on this trip by registering now. Limit of 12 participants, so register early. Slots are filled on a first come first served basis. A $500 deposit is required for registration. Enter the name and dates of the trip and deposit amount on the next screen.


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ITINERARY

FRI 6/12/09 -- Arrive in Athens, Travel to Ioannina, meet local animal welfare advocates, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

SAT 6/13/09 -- Participate in Project in Ioannina, building feeding stations for stray and abandoned dogs, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

SUN 6/14/09 -- Participate in Project in Ioannina, continuing work on feeding stations for stray and abandoned dogs, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

MON 6/15/09 -- Participate in Project in Ioannina, doing educational and informational work, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

TUE 6/16/09 -- Participate in Project in Ioannina, doing educational and informational work, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

WED 6/17/09 -- Trekking in Zagoria, Northern Pindos National Park: Monodhendri to Papingo; Vikos Gorge, approximately 6 1/2 hrs, Overnight in Papingo

THU 6/18/09 -- Trekking in Zagoria, Northern Pindos National Park: Papingo to Konitsa via Katafigio & Dragon Lakes; evening at Kavasila Hot Springs, Overnight in Konitsa

FRI 6/19/09 -- 1/2 day Rafting on Arachthos River OR Cultural Excursion Day, Sirako to Kalarites 1 1/2 hrs, Kalarites to Matsouki 1 1 /2 hrs, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

SAT 6/20/09 -- Flat water kayak in Lake Pamvotida (brief lesson provided prior), Lunch on island with a visit to the monastery, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina OR Trekking in Zagoria, Northern Pindos National Park: Kipi to Vradheto, Overnight in Kastro district of Ioannina

SUN 6/21/09 -- Travel to Athens, Dinner in Athens with animal welfare workers in the Athens and surrounding areas

MON 6/22/09 -- Send off

Background

The Greek government provides little or no enforcement of laws for the protection of animals against cruelty, and there are few facilities to provide shelter, food and care for the thousands of stray and abandoned dogs roaming both the cities and villages. Even those with homes often do not fare any better. Some are cruelly abused, some grossly neglected, some chained to a tree for protection with little or no food, water, shelter or affection. The chained females are often not spayed, so they have no means to escape from males looking to breed.

Spaying and neutering have only recently been introduced and are infrequent practices. Many Greek vets are not trained for the surgeries and of those that are, most are not inclined to provide any volunteer services for stray and street animals. It is also difficult for vets from other countries to be allowed to provide volunteer services.

People often ignore sick or injured animals, or shoot or poison them. The healthy ones are also at risk. Those that are considered a nuisance, which are many, are poisoned with pesticides, rat poison or ground glass, all horribly inhumane and painful deaths. Some of these "exterminations" are done by the local municipalities. Recently, there have been dogs found hanged in trees, an equally unconscionable death.

Puppies get tossed in the trash -- if theyre lucky, the trash collector finds them before they go into the truck's grinder.

A very few dogs are lucky enough to be rescued by volunteers from the few ad-hoc animal welfare groups in Greece, people who love them and hope to find them homes in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. But funding is scarce and support from the government is non-existent.

Mary O'Connor and a handful of other local animal advocates care for dogs that are living on the streets or in the dumps in Ioannina, located in the beautiful mountainous region of Zagoria on the central mainland. They have no land to provide a shelter, but work tirelessly making rounds to feed, care for and love all of the homeless dogs in the area. She provides help in getting some spayed and neutered. Mary and her friends have personally adopted and fostered numerous dogs. They work with Greek Animal Rescue and other groups to place the dogs in homes in other countries. There are few opportunities for adoption within Greece.

Please consider a donation of any amount to help us fund this project and cause. Your donation can help provide food, shelter, veterinary treatment, rehoming and a change of destiny for dogs in Greece.


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You can also join our Cause on Facebook.

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To find out more about the following organizations, click on the logos.

Please visit the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation website to read the prologue in this Greek Tragedy and support their mission to promote the health and welfare of dogs worldwide, focusing on homing, health issues and humane treatment. Special thanks to everyone at Camp Bow Wow and the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation for their work in uncovering this overlooked atrocity that continues in Greece and connecting us with these amazing people.



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