Saturday, March 21, 2009

The purpose of SAWA and why it was formed

The reason we started SAWA in 1991: many visitors and residents found injured, poisoned, and abandoned animals on the streets and were bringing them to the veterinary clinic, leaving them to be helped...
With a group of friends, including Doris Karpetis from Switzerland who had the original idea, we started to raise money to cover the expenses for these animals. We put collection boxes in certain places and we kept records of everything we were doing. We still have all the files from those initial years.
We were informed that our work could be considered illegal if we were not registered as an official welfare association and at that moment we created our group, SAWA.
Finally, on 10/02/1992 SAWA had its first Articles of registration accepted.
Has anyone asked to read these Articles? To be able to follow our work you must know what exactly we are doing and the purposes for which this welfare group was created.
According to the SAWA Articles
Purpose of SAWA is to promote humane behavior towards all animals.
The main goal of SAWA is to help the street animals, to protect their health and aid in their recovery from disease.
Our secondary goal is to do what we can to protect all animals from abuse, torture, even for those animals who have owners.
We also intended SAWA to promote sterilization, in an effort to curb animal overpopulation on the island, and whenever possible to assist in finding good homes for unwanted animals.
We have been struggling to meet these goals with a handful of active volunteer members, all year round, ever since.
New ideas are always welcome, however, given the limited human resources our organization has, we are only able to accomplish as much as is humanly possible...

Barbara Zaehnler-Angelopoulos,
Majda Anderson,
Margarita Valvis-Roussou

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Happy Ending for a Santorini Stray

This tame, shy Pit Bull was raised in a loving home. Unfortunately his owner was
in a tragic road accident and he was suddenly left alone.
We managed to find him a new home. Lucky boy!!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009



1. Neutering Spading of Dogs and Cats 2008-2009
The sterilisation of strays to reduce the population of stray animals is the main aim of SAWA.
The local vet, Margarita Valvi, has neutered/spade the following animals in 2008/2009. The Municipality of Fira (30%) and the European Union (70%) fund the sterilisation of Dogs of approximately 100 dogs per year.
The sterilisation of Cats is paid by SAWA donations (100%).
Volunteers are needed for this programme to transport stray dogs and cats to the Vet.
2008 – Cats: 242 (95 male, 147 female)
2008 – Dogs: 108 (65 male, 43 female)

2009 - Jan to March Cats 67
2009 - Jan to March Dogs 46

Anyone can bring stray cats to be sterilised without being charged (the SAWA will pay for this), but we ask that the person becomes a SAWA member by paying the yearly fee of 30€.

Margarita Valvi stated that Hunting dogs consist of 60% of the stray population in Santorini.
Despite informing the Santorini Hunting Association of this problem, and the need to sterilise hunting dogs, there has been no change in recent years.

2. Internet Update
SAWA Blog -
The SAWA blog has had 968 hits since its creation in October 2008.
The main viewers are from the following countries – Greece, United States , Germany , United Kingdom and Austria .

New SAWA Facebook Group
The new SAWA Facebook group consist of 158 members from all around the world.
It is an excellent way to inform people of what is happening with SAWA and animals.
It was agreed that where there is another group that refers to Santorini animals, SAWA should participate in the group and inform the members what is happening on the island and the work that is being done here.
Eleni Economou is doing this. She is posting to such groups and informing them of SAWA.

Independent Facebook Groups have been created
Save Santorini's Dogs...Stop the Poisonings (1,172 members)
Discussions on poisonings, ways of raising awareness on the island, helping SAWA, etc.

Save the Santorini Donkeys! (163 members)
Discussions on status of working Donkeys in Santorini.

3. Christina Kaloudi’s Idea – Goran Bregović (Composer) Concert in Santorini August
Christina suggested asking a friend who works for Bregovic if a SAWA information stand can be set up at the concert.
The Information Stand could register new members and ask people to join SAWA, or give a donation in the moneybox, or make and sell cotton bags with SAWA logos.
Alexandros Bellonias also offered to help with promoting SAWA at some of the 40 local events that are happening over summer.

4. Money Boxes
SAWA needs volunteer to take on responsibility of distributing and collecting moneyboxes, as most times, they are not returned at the end of the season. Some were even stolen from shops and bars.
We currently have the new ceramic Pig moneybox that Margarita had made, and some smaller, transparent money boxes which Eleni ordered from UK .

5. Donkey update from Dimitris Sigalas, Environment Department, Municipality of Fira
New Taxi donkey regulation has been created by Fira Municipality . It was effect as of 1/1/2009. It is published it on our blog in Greek and English.

The Municipality of Fira “Donkey Health Book” for taxi donkeys are ready and were seen by the members.

The Donkey owners have been informed of the new Code of Practice, and are not very impressed and not very cooperative about it. There still needs a lot of work to improve the situation at the Old Port. The donkey owners need to start using shelter at the bottom of stairs instead of having donkeys wait on the footpath in the sun. The Council Police will be enforcing the regulation and fining illegal donkey owners throughout the season.

Mr Sigalas also asked that SAWA volunteers visit the Old port and report anything important they see eg. Injured taxi donkeys.

Top shelter at Old Fira
We are still waiting for the generous donation that Mr Stelios Hatzioannou (Easy Jet) offered us, so the Top Donkey Shelter is running behind schedule. Mr Stelios Hatzioannou has agreed to pay for most of the construction of the Top shelter. The taxi donkeys/mules will have a larger area for shelter and water and they will not wait in the sun anymore at the top of caldera.

Mr Paul Svendsen from Donkey Sanctuary has informed us that his donation - saddle blankets and stirrups for mules and donkeys are ready to be sent to Santorini. These will be lent to donkeys/ mules by the Fira Municipality with the new regulation.

6. Need for more fundraising and raising awareness events
SAWA needs volunteers to help with happenings such as bazaars, animal trainer demonstrations, Information stands, selling t-shirts, etc.
Need for SAWA Public Relations volunteer to help with promoting at events.
More raising awareness – Schools, Volcano TV, Local radio, etc

7. SAWA Elections and New Practical

We need to have elections after two years, as three of the seven Board members do not participate in SAWA Meetings It was also agreed that the SAWA Practical needs to be changed. This needs to be done very quickly so new President can sign the 2009 sterilisation contract with the Municipality of Fira .


FROM 9:30 TO 19:30

8. SAWA supports Environmental Events on World Environment Day 28th March, 2009 in Santorini
(1) The Santorini International Women is Association, Environmental dept, is organising a Beach Clean Up Day at Monolithos Beach . All helpers are welcome!

(2) WWF Earth Hour – Turn off your electricity from 20:30 to 21:30. The Mayor of Thira has signed an agreement to participate in this event.

Sunday, March 15, 2009



FROM 9:30 TO 19:30

Thursday, March 12, 2009



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Happy Ending for a Santorini Stray

Charlie!!! Left at the port of santorini! i fell in love with him, I brought him to the vet, spend my last 3 weeks with him and found a nice family in Germany that adopted Charlie just by seeing his picture....Melanie Boldt

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

General Meeting 15/3/2009

General Meeting
The SAWA invites its members and other interested residents to the SAWA General Meeting which will be held on Sunday 15th March at the 5 x 5 centre in Karterados at 12pm.

Γενική Συνέλευση
Η Ένωση ζωόφιλων Θήρας καλεί τα μέλη της και οποιονδήποτε ενδιαφέρεται στην συνάντηση στο 5 x 5, Καρτεραδο Κυριακη 15 Μαρτιου στις 12.00 το μεσημέρι.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Lost dog

Have you seen "Kori" from Ia, last seen in Fira?

Please contact her owner on 22860 71983 if you see her.

She is neutered, has tattoo in her ear, and is microchipped.

A Happy Ending for a Santorini Stray

Do you remember Pandora the adopted stray?

A hungry, lonely stray in Fira who used to perform to tourists for food and go to a souvlaki shop everynight at 7pm where she knew a kind lady who worked there would feed her.

Pandora was adopted by a sweet American woman who fell in love with her on her holidays last summer. SAWA volunteers helped her adopt the dog.

Two months later in America, to everyone's surprise, Pandora delivered a male puppy yesterday morning. The vet said she probably mated a few days before she left Greece!!!
What a cute surprise!!!!