As a visitor/tourist to the island of Zakynthos you are likely to come across stray cats and dogs during your stay.
There is no public animal shelter on the island, therefore the welfare of stray dogs and cats falls to a handful of dedicated volunteers who, although they are usually extremely busy, will do their best to help if at all possible.
Please bear in mind that many ‘owned’ animals are allowed to wander freely, especially in the summer months, and usually find their way home. It is often apparent which animals are strays and which are, in fact, owned. The strays tend to be very thin and may be in poor condition, with tics, fleas and possibly injuries too.
Should you come across any animal you are concerned about, these are the actions you can take:
- The Municipality is responsible for all strays. We ask if you would kindly report any strays to the Mayor of Zakynthos via this link:
The telephone number for the Mayor is: +30 26953 61300
Currently, the Animal Welfare Office is not staffed, and so enquiries can be made directly to Mayor to raise awareness of the situation tourists are experiencing with so many strays on the island. The link above also allows you to upload photos to support your case.
- All vets will treat a stray and, unlike in the UK, you will not pay a consultation fee. You only pay for what treatment is given, which in essence is nominal compared to the UK and other EU countries. We get very many messages and emails during the tourist season, therefore, if you are really worried about an animal, please take it to the vets yourself as we cannot be all over the island to assist.
You can contact two vets on the Island:
Konstantina Souli https://www.facebook.com/konstantinasouli.vetcare
- If you witness cruelty (for example, tethered animals, lack of food/water/shelter, poisoning, etc.) please make a report to the Police using the following details. It is always better to make the report in person, with photos/video evidence and condition/location where possible - please remember to take along your Passport if reporting animal cruelty to the Police.
To report abuse at Zante Town police station, please use the following email address:
Telephone numbers for the 2 police stations on the island are:
Zante Town +30 26950 22100
Katastari +30 26950 55068
There is also a website on mainland Greece which provides lots of information about how to report animal abuse. The website link is:
Many of the stray dogs are fed by dedicated volunteers and are part of a feeding programme.
Dog food is available to purchase in many of the island’s supermarkets if you wish to feed. Please do so away from hotel complexes and restaurants.
Healing Paws Animal Rescue helps cats in dire need on the island i.e. road traffic accidents, new born kittens dumped in bins, etc. but sadly we cannot rescue all the stray cats or kittens. There are so many and it is impossible to keep them at the Shelter. We do provide for the cats throughout the winter months when there are no tourists around, at designated feeding stations, thus enabling them to keep going throughout the winter months when everything is closed down. If anyone wishes to support this effort, then making a donation would be more than gratefully received as cats get very little in way of donations or support sadly. Donations can be made via the bank details attached.
Many stray cats have eye problems due to the climate on the island and you can buy some eye drops from any chemist with the brand name ‘Tobrex’. The drug is Tobramycin, which belongs to a class of drugs called aminoglycoside antibiotics. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria and will assist the cat’s eyes. This often is all you need and the drops only cost a few Euros.
Please also feed the cats (cat food is available in most supermarkets) and ONLY provide water, please do not give MILK as it is not good for them; if the kittens are very young, kitten milk can be purchased from any vet, but only if it is obvious that the kittens are not with their mother who will be providing natural milk. Goats' milk is a suitable alternative and is available from many supermarkets. Please do NOT give kittens/cats cows’ milk.
We would ask you to please feed cats away from hotel complexes and restaurants.
Healing Paws Animal Rescue can arrange for tourists to adopt a cat, providing that they are happy to cover all vet expenses and travel costs.
Please bear in mind that most of the cats are interbred and, as a result, are not in the best of health due to genetic disorders. Many also suffer from cat aids. Therefore, adoption would be at the adopter’s own risk.
HELP US TO HELP THE STRAYS
Healing Paws Animal Rescue is a Registered UK Charity (No.1177945) and a registered non-profit organisation in Greece. Sue and her son Oli welcome dogs into their home, alongside their own dogs and cats. All the veterinary bills, their food and general care is funded by donations that her very generous followers give.
Any donations would be gratefully received. Thank you!
Healing Paws Animal Rescue
Sort Code: 30-99-15
National Bank of Greece
IBAN: GR46 0110 3450 0000 3450 0471 809