Sunday 8 August 2021

Greece forest fires: 'miracle dog' saved himself by hiding in an outside oven for 3 days

This is the story of a 'miracle dog' found alive hiding in an oven after one of the many devastating Greek wildfires that have torn through the country. In another article I have written about homeowners and occupiers evacuating their homes without taking their pets with them. I have questioned why. Were they given short notice? If so, why were they given short notice to evacuate? Did they have time to take their pets with them? Is there a culture problem here? So many questions. 

Greece forest fires: 'miracle dog' saved himself by hiding in an outside oven
 Greece forest fires: 'miracle dog' saved himself by hiding in an outside oven. Photo: The Times.

But they are valid because something is wrong because the volunteers who rescued these animals; cats, dogs, horses and donkeys have said that typically the owners evacuated without their animal companions. What is going on? Surely there was time to take their pets and even horses with them?

It's all about preparation but they must have known the fires were coming or there was a possibility of the fires arriving at least a day or two in advance. I am disappointed with what I read.

The Times reports that rescuers were less than hopeful about finding survivors to the Greek wildfires causing death and destruction around and in the town of Mati. No less than 10 days after the fire broke out a white poodle-cross was found hiding in an outside oven. They have called the poodle the "Miracle Dog".

The dog's name is Loukoumakis. He was discovered traumatised and unable to move with singed fur. Why was he left behind? I would like answers to that question and I don't mind if I'm being rude in asking it.

The news media have simply avoided the central questions - the important animal welfare backstory. The questions I'm asking relate to proactive measures to prevent harm to companion animals. Everything that I am reading is about reactive actions by volunteer rescuers, which is far less efficient and sensible.

When you look at Loukoumakis' fur and his general appearance he looks neglected. His appearance would not have happened over three days living in an oven. It indicates to me that this dog was neglected and that neglect extended to leaving him behind when the fires approached the house.

I suspect that the problem is that there is a general sense of chaos and panic in dealing with these forest fires. I don't think it would have happened in Japan for instance where they have a more organised culture. Look at the Olympic Games which appear to have been highly organised. There is this rather laissez-faire attitude in the Mediterranean European countries which I believe perpetuates poor animal welfare. I would like to see change in the southern European states. Are they complying with EU animal welfare standards? I doubt it.

I know that in Greece their reputation with respect to the welfare of the street cats is poor. I have written about this many years ago. Greece is a member of the European Union. They should set the same animal welfare standards as other states in the EU. I sense that they do not.

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