In Greece, stray dogs are handled much differently than they are in Europe and America. Rather than rounding up stray dogs and taking them to shelters where they are euthanized if not adopted, the Greeks embrace them. The dogs are spayed or neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated and then released back into the community. There, residents all care for and feed them together.
One Greek coffee shop in the city of Lesbos goes a step farther by giving the dogs a place to sleep. Every night when the coffee shop closes, stray dogs are invited in to sleep on the cafe’s comfortable couches and chairs.
The shop, known as Hott Spott in Mytilene, has been doing this since July of 2015 and has no plans to stop. In the morning, the doors to the shop are opened and the dogs leave to go about their business, many returning again at closing time.
Pictures of the sleeping pups found their way online and were an instant sensation. Perhaps one day the compassion of the Greeks will spread and other countries, too, will adopt this no-kill approach to managing stray dog populations. In the meantime, at least the pups in Greece can rest easy.