(New York, NY) - August 2, 2004 - The ASPCA is joining the international animal welfare community in condemning the deliberate and inhumane killing of thousands of homeless dogs in the city of Athens. It is believed that up to 80% of the estimated 30,000 to 50,000 stray dogs living in the streets of Athens have been poisoned in the past few weeks in an effort to eliminate the population prior to the beginning of the 2004 Olympic Games on August 13. It is reported that dogs are being fed food laced with rat poison, causing a slow and excruciating death over a period of several days. Videotape shot by the organization Welfare for Animals Global recently captured some of the more gruesome and disturbing methods being utilized on the city streets of Athens to kill dogs.
"The inhumane and archaic methods of population control reportedly being implemented in the city of Athens are simply not acceptable in the year 2004," said ASPCA President Edwin J. Sayres. "The ASPCA stands with the international humane community in expressing our disappointment with the Greek government for their lack of compassion and desire to eradicate thousands stray dogs from their city in advance of the Olympic Games."
The international Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) recently sent a representative to Athens and is helping to train Greek officials to deal with the epidemic stray problem humanely. For more information on how you can help the strays in Greece, please visit www.rspca.org.