Many Hydriots are animal lovers. They are often saddened by the plight of the street and stray animals and there is a group of volunteers who work tirelessly in Hydra to make it a better place for animals. These are the people who make the charity 'HydraArk' really work and they are to be applauded for the way that they quietly get on with caring for animals behind the scenes.
VET: There is no vet on Hydra, although George Rabias the pet shop owner can give advice and turns his shop into a temporary clinic every now and then for a visiting vet. But, ff you need a vet I highly recommend Mr G Karatheopoulos in Kranidi opposite on the mainland via Ermioni. You can contact him via his Facebook page: Κτηνιατρικό Κέντρο Γιώργος Καραθεόπουλος.
REASSURANCE FOR HYDRA’S CAT LOVERS DURING THE COVID CRISIS
During the winter it is quite normal for a small group of about 25 people to feed the colonies of cats around their homes. This is in addition to the excellent work of HydraArk. Because of the CoVid crisis, this winter has been extended because the cafes and tavernas haven’t opened nor have the visitors arrived to spread ‘nibbles’ for the cats on their walks.
So all the usual colony feeders are still feeding 10 - 40 cats each as the cats haven’t ‘migrated’ to their summer dining rooms. As you can imagine for some locals this is getting expensive for those who have no work at the moment.
The Municipality recently donated a load of dry food to HydraArk who distributed 5kg to each of the known colony feeders. It didn’t last for long and there is a limit to the amount of food the HydraArk charity can provide as much of its funding is used for bringing the vets to the island for TNR programs.
George at the Pet Shop on Hydra can supply 15kg bags of Enjoy for €36 and Crocat or Artifact 20kg sacks for €26. He has a comprehensive list of all colony feeders (including those who volunteer for HydraArk).
If anyone would like to help feed the island’s iconic cats, they can email George with firstname.lastname@example.org. George has asked me to include his IBAN in this post so you can transfer the cost of a sack of food. (George Rabias, National Bank of Greece, Hydra, IBAN GR05 0110 4800 0000 4800 0150 408, ref Hydra Colony Feeders.) And please email him so he knows. (You might want to nominate the sack of food for a particular person, and that’s okay too.)
Then George can contact the people on the list to let them know there is a bag for collection. But, regardless of whether any extra sacks are ordered, you can be reassured that the animal lovers of Hydra will continue, as well as they can, to feed and look after the cats in your absence even if they have to be on short rations for a while.
The volunteers of HydraArk give their time and effort, and quite often their own money, completely free of charge to come to the aid of distressed or abused animals, whether they are cats, dogs or horses, anywhere in Hydra. So you can rest assured that 100% of your donation or annual membership fee is used to help the animals and none of it goes on administration or salaries.
The volunteers of HydraArk:
NOTE: HydraArk does not have the resources, an office/clinic/building and apart from twice a year during TNR sessions, CANNOT PROVIDE Medical care or hospitalisation for any animal found by visitors. If you find an animal that needs a vet, please contact Mr G Karatheopoulos in Kranidi opposite on the mainland via Ermioni. You can contact him via his Facebook page: Κτηνιατρικό Κέντρο Γιώργος Καραθεόπουλος.
During the summer, when there is an abundance of animal-loving and caring holiday-makers to feed them, the cats of Hydra flourish and are well fed and in good health. Sadly though, the cats who live on the streets becoming horribly ill and some starve and die, simply because the volunteers fight a desperate battle to find the money to buy food for them once the holidaymakers have gone home.
The photo is of 'Fishy' a street cat who during the summer was a happy cat on the port but during the winter when there were no kind holiday-makers to feed her, fell ill and had to be nursed back to health by the combined efforts of people like Maria, Carol and Christina, all of whom work tirelessly and often at their own expense to rescue as many of the stray cats who have become used to rich pickings from holidaymakers tables during the summer and cannot fend for themselves during the winter.
It is a ghastly photograph, I know, but it serves my purpose to illustrate just how dire the plight of some animals can be during the winter, and how important it is that people financially support the work of the HydraArk trust by making donations or becoming members paying a €25 annual subscription.
Please help the HydraArk charity to continue working to care for Hydra's stray animals during the winter by becoming a member today. THANK YOU!