As we saw in a recent article, laws may have been passed that “promise” our stray friends a better life, but in practice, are they enforced? Probably very selective and with huge shortcomings, as shown by the latest report of the Court of Audit, of September 2023 (p.s.: The Court of Audit is one of the three highest courts of Greece, along with the Areopagus and the Council of State) .
What should we know?
That 2 years ago (2021) Law 4830/2021 tightened the legislative framework for the promotion of the well-being of the homeless, as well as for the drastic reduction of their number. But because there were indications that the law is not being applied, levels of the Court of Audit started an audit in three Ministries (Interior, Rural Development & Food, and Digital Governance), as well as sampling in Municipalities of Greece.
What was found?
– That the situation with strays has not shown the expected improvement.
-That the available resources amounting to 83 million euros (yes, a dizzying amount) have not been utilized.
– That specifically, the financing from the Special Municipal Support Program FILODIMOS II as well as the ARGOS program could have contributed to the development of municipal care infrastructures but this has not happened.
– That there is still no reliable recording of the number of homeless by the Municipalities and the State.
– That the Municipalities, in short, have not yet fully met their obligations for the collection, care and accommodation and promotion for adoption of stray pets.
– That the cooperation of the Municipalities with the animal welfare organizations of each Municipality is very limited.
– That the Intermunicipal Centers for the Care of Stray Animals host a much larger number of animals than allowed. E.g. the DI.KE.P.A.Z. Athens-Piraeus there are 222 cages for dogs, and a year ago (November 22) the dogs had reached 311. In short: Inter-municipal centers and municipalities find it difficult to cooperate properly so that animals are not piled up in cages, and to have a better luck when they are now healthy.
– That the situation is also bad in the municipal shelters. Living conditions are far from expected. A shelter that has the infrastructure to host 17 animals was found to hold 61 animals. Other shelters were found to be visibly understaffed, being left unguarded in the afternoon and evening hours. Others did not even have the required facilities, and the animals were exposed to heat, cold and poor hygiene conditions.
– That the Pet Protection Department of the Ministry of the Interior has not been staffed with personnel with the appropriate scientific expertise.
– That the implementation of the National Pet Registry (NPT) has been delayed.
The above are just some of the findings. As is understandable, the report of E.S. it was also accompanied by imperative recommendations to change these bad texts. We wait to see how long it will take and how much more water will flow in the mill of patience.