Best Wishes and A Happy New Year from the Symi Animal Welfare team.
We have recently been in contact with the Greek Animal Welfare Fund regarding a springtime vet visit to the Island.
They have agreed to send a Greek vet and assistant at the end of March/beginning of April which is marvellous news, as yet we do not know the duration of their stay or the exact dates. Any surgery so early in the year will of course produce excellent results which will be apparent during the summer months, it will ensure that the street cat population remains healthy and controlled. Then, all being well, Martin will return for his annual autumn visit.
The winter feeding programme continues, our volunteers are giving their 'adopted families' a meal of tinned food, pasta and biscuits several times a week at their allocated station. We have also noticed that most of the restaurants which are open have also been putting out scraps, this is as well as the cat-lovers who aren't directly involved with SAW. You will be delighted to hear that the street cats overall look well and strong, 'cared-for' in fact!
Thank you for your messages of support.
This is Boogie, he was rescued at 3 days old from the Pitini area after his mother had been poisoned.
Just look at him now!
You will be pleased to know that most of the food for the winter feeding programme has now been distributed. Once the remaining 2 volunteers have collected their supplies, street cats will receive a regular meal, several times a week, at one of 18 feeding stations.
Luckily this year, we have found volunteers to cover far more areas which means that the cats living as high as Kastro and Thanassis, in 'winter-bleak' Pedi or along the Nimborio road will be fed as well as at the regular stations. Each of us will naturally monitor the general condition of our 'adopted' cats and look for any signs of illness or distress.
Fans of 'Lugless Douglas' can be assured that he is okay and that his favourite haunt at Lemonitissa is one of these regular stations.
Sotiris, Amara, Hatzipetros and Lukas supermarkets have each donated food, we are really grateful to them for their support. We would also like to thank them for delivering the products to a variety of locations. Special attention will be paid to the young kittens, some born very recently indeed. The results of our non-neutering decision in the Autumn is quite apparent!
We shall take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, with best wishes and thanks for your continuing support.
Earlier today, I ordered over 500 tins of cat food, thank goodness Dino at Hatzipetros supermarket has promised to deliver them for me!
Already, a number of supermarkets have offered to donate sacks of cat biscuits and I am awaiting a reply from several more (this came after a letter from SAW was given to them explaining all about the winter feeding programme).
The next thing is to order the pasta - 85kilos of it, hopefully tomorrow and then we're ready to commence the Winter Feeding Programme 2008/9 or certainly will be once our volunteers have the cat- goodies!
Thank you to everyone who has donated this year, you are the ones who make all this possible.
Since writing the above, the first Chorio consignment of food has arrived!
As the few late visitors leave, Symi is bathed in autumn sunshine, although temperatures have dropped of course. Kittens born in late summer are now confident and playful, happy bundles of fluff can be seen everywhere one looks. In a short time though, this pleasing picture could all change especially if the weather deteriorates suddenly. Food sources 'dry up', the bins generally only contain household scraps, not much from restaurants these days!
Sadly, the annual UK vet visit didn't happen this year, which means that there has been no neutering within the street cat community. A natural increase in population should soon become apparent, our winter feeding programme looks like being a big one. Over the last few years, more and more of our Greek friends have begun to feed cats in their neighbourhood, which proves that we are working together to maintain healthy animals. In turn, the street cats help keep vermin under control, which should ideally finish the need to use illegal and unnecessary poison.
We hope to maintain 12 or more feeding stations in areas where we know there are lots of cats, these will include, Chorio, Lieni, Lavinia, Pedi, Mylos, Harani, Yialos and Pitini. Our volunteers will provide a mixture of canned food, pasta and biscuits several times a week.
Thank you for your support and generous donations throughout the summer.
The news that there would be no Autumn vet visit on Symi this year, due to unforeseen circumstances, has been a major worry to us all.
We apologise to everyone who had planned on bringing their animals along to the surgery and hope that you can make alternative arrangements.
I have been in contact with the Greek Animal Welfare Fund about another issue and mentioned that Martin is unwell. On hearing this, they were as concerned as us, so much so that they have promised to send a GAWF vet over to Symi in the Spring. Final plans will be made in the near future.
This is such wonderful, encouraging news and we look forward to meeting the GAWF team early next year!
We will keep you up to date, thank you all again for your kind wishes and constant support,
We are sorry, at such short notice, to announce that Martin Bilson the UK vet is unable to visit Symi in October due to ill-health. He extends his apologies to everyone involved with the annual vet-week and thanks all for their support and hard work.
At the moment, we are unable to say when the next SAW vet will be available, but we hope to arrange something certainly by Spring 2009. In the meantime, we will of course continue monitoring and caring for the street cats and dogs as much as we can.
Currently, there are so many kittens which we hope will grow into healthy and happy adult cats, the winter-feeding programme this year could well be a large one!
Thank you once again and we will keep posted as to any future developments.
We wish Martin a speedy recovery and offer our best wishes to both him and Pam.
Symi is currently basking in Springtime sunshine and preparations are frantically being made all over the Island for the impending Summer season. Everywhere, both old and new businesses are giving the final touches to fresh décor, menus and opening times. Symi Animal Welfare is no different, our committee has been working hard all winter to put together certain changes, so I would like to take this opportunity to explain a few of them to you -
New blue collection boxes - the 'Panic' logo which you all know so well, is to be incorporated into bright label artwork done by Gill Bennett. There will be a number of details on the label including an email address should you want/need to contact us directly. Look out for the new boxes in all previous locations plus a few extra ones.
Our newsletter is to be renamed the Symi Animal Welfare Bulletin, it will contain more information than before and we hope to update it on a regular basis throughout the year. We will be including details of our on-going work and of animals re homed and helped in so many ways. The SAW Bulletin will be available in a variety of offices, bars and restaurants in Yialos and the Village and also from you travel company representative. We will of course, continue to publish bi-monthly reports on SymiDream website and in the Symi Visitor newspaper.
Many of you may already be aware that, as from April 2008, Symi has another animal welfare organisation, FAROS. There is a webpage which explains fully their plans for the future. This new initiative is wonderful news for the animals of Symi especially as the two organisations have different objectives and fundraising, but the same desire to improve the welfare of our Island's animals.
Symi Animal Welfare will aim to raise sufficient funds so that we can continue to -