Why Greeks believe that the adoption of strays is “trafficking”

Amidst all the paraphilia circulating, slander, lies and lack of basic animal welfare education, the adoption of stray animals is often presented as “sale”, “trade” and “smuggling”.

How did this myth start?

From what is known to all Adoption fee (τέλος υιοθεσίας), a global practice, applied WORLDWIDE and absolutely legal, that accompanies adoptions. Animal welfare did not invent the adoption fee, it is a practice that also applies to child adoptions, the well-known child adoption fee, one of the many practices applied to cover the costs of orphanages, the birth mother, and the transportation of the child, if this is adopted from a foreign country, and of course to confirm the honesty and devotion of the future family.

A slanderous facebook page, metioning how strays are “sold” for “400 euros per head”.

The adoption fee is essentially a donation, from the future family, to the association that saved, healed and hosted the animal.

And why pay?

First, as a sign of goodwill, which ensures that the future family can, and will be able and willing in the future to cover any costs that may arise from animal health issues. Strays are NEVER given away. Never. Even citizens who find a homeless animal in need and try to find him a home, are advised by animal welfare associations to remove the word “given away” from the ad. Animals are not objects, they are not our grandmother’s old trunk that we give to anyone who is willing to take it so that we clear up space in the house. Giving animals in this way attracts the wrong people, creates the wrong impressions, and puts animals in immense danger.

Is it so important to pay?

Yes it is. The animal welfare community around the world tries to compete with the purebred market, to teach and promote adoption, but it never does so by “dropping commodity prices” because animals are not a commodity. People who adopt worldwide want to help animals, and they want to help the associations that save these animals. The adoption fee is a donation, and animal welfare is based as we know it on donations. Public shelters in Germany and elsewhere rely on Adoption fees to cover the costs of shelters, maintenance of host animals, etc.

How much is the adoption fee?

It depends on the country, the orgnizations and other factors. In Greece, for example, a country with a minimum wage of 650 euros per month, we do not ask families to pay an Adoption fee of 300 euros. Some charities accept a donation of 50 euros, some ask the family to cover some expenses, such as sterilization, and some do not charge anything. In foreign countries, where the basic salary is much higher, the adoption fee can be from 250 to 600 euros. If a stray is adopted from Patras to Athens, the family is usually asked to pay for the transfer. The same is true when adopted abroad. The transfer from Greece abroad costs much more than the transfer Patras – Athens, and the adoption fee mainly covers the transportation costs, which range between 150-350 euros.

Is not 350 euros a lot?

No, actually it’s very low. As we said, the Adoption fee covers the transfer, which is expensive. But a stray has many more costs, namely: Examinations: 100 euros, sterilization: 70-100 euros, vaccines, deworming, chip: at least 50 euros, maintenance (food, spot ons, annual vaccines if it is not adopted soon): at least 500 euros a year if he eats the cheapest food. All of this is the cost of a stray being healthy. In case it needs treatment, examinations, surgeries, expensive medication, the cost is more than doubled.

So the adoption fee, not only is not a lot of money, but it is minimal. Adoption fee is not something hidden. It is not a conspiracy that some detectives “uncover” to prove that strays are sold. It accompanies animal ads on animal welfare sites around the world, and is universally accepted. Some extremist circles in Greece are trying to prove with screenshots from animal ads for adoption and the amount of the adoption fee circled, that the strays are sold, as in the picture below.

Apart from the fact that this is deception, the main thing that proves it is the ignorance of these people regarding the most basic principles of animal welfare, and most importantly, complete ignorance about the costs of rescuing and veterinary care of a any stray. Such extreme “views”, driven mostly by racist and anti-European rhetoric, have made the adoption of animals presented as a “trade” even by Greek politicians, are a huge disgrace to our country, and prevent many animals from being adopted to families who will love them

Former deputy minister of Agriculture in Greece, publicly posting on a racist and slanderous facebook page, calling volunteers in animal welfare “smugglers”

Unfortunately, Achilleas Kourepis, deputy mayor of Ekali, as well as many politicians of the country, like the former deputy minister in the photo above have fallen victim to this conspiracy theory, perhaps because it is impossible for them to understand that some people help animals on a non-profit basis.

* The slanders and accusations of trade, made in the context of a highly racist rhetoric, and with complete ignorance of the rules of the animal welfare community, forced more than 160 unions from Greece and abroad to send an open letter to the government, as Greece is the only European country that seems to be deliberately blocking adoptions abroad, through misinterpretations of European directives, and complex circulars.

* Volunteers from Greece and abroad, as well as European and American citizens who have adopted strays from Greece, also speak out against racism and slander.

*This article, like most in this website are intended for the education of the Greek public, and the Greek authorities. However, many issues covered affect foreign volunteers, and for that reason, some of our articles are translated to English.

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