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Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:42 am
by annaraven
Just sent what I could. Thanks for doing this!

What Hydra Ark really does

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:08 pm
by HydraArk
It is incorrectly perceived that the charity Hydra Ark only takes care of cats. I would like to present a more detailed list of what we do as volunteer work.

We bring to the island every October an equine vet (female) and a farrier (blacksmith, male) to attend to the donkeys, mules and horses. This was started five years ago and has been a great success. At first the muleteers with their usual suspicions and apprehension did not come in great numbers (only 30 to 40 animals). Then as time went by these numbers grew to 70 to 80 animals and last year 120 animals were seen in a 3-day period. Some examples of diagnosis and treatments are:
  • 1) Teeth need filing especially the back teeth otherwise the animal develops a bad digestive problem and their stomach gets bloated and is full of gas. (It then needs an I.V. treatment for 24 hours if caught in time.)
    2) The horses’ hooves need filing and shaping as they grow like fingernails. In some cases reshoeing is necessary if they have been badly done. (Nails in the wrong place, in tender part of the hoof, which gives pain and the horse will limp.)
    3) Black sores all over the body of the horse, mule, donkey caused by the big blue horse fly, which bites the animal and leaves its eggs, which develop into parasites in the blood and the infection is very serious.
    4) The visiting vets try to educate the muleteers (without injuring their egos).
We have rescued several donkeys and mules from bad situations. A few months ago a kind muleteer rescued a large old donkey he found tethered high up the mountain. The owner had taken it up to let it slowly die of starvation out in the cold and stormy weather we were experiencing this past winter. The donkey is 30 years old and a lovely old gentle, friendly soul. (I have seen and patted it myself). There are other similar stories but this is a recent example.

We have rescued many stray dogs and found new homes for them if possible. Or we take care of them until we locate their owners. We have helped by neutering the female dogs and then sometimes the owner will take them back. We have sent seagulls, hawks, ducks etc. (broken wings, injured leg/foot) to the Bird Sanctuary on Paros Island (at our expense E100 transport +cage), which has an excellent reputation.

We assist tourists and visitors who wish to adopt cats/dogs with the necessary information and where to go for travel papers and vaccinations etc.

We rescue tortoises in distress, doves and small birds from cats etc. We continually receive calls from tourists about abandoned kittens and cruelty to the big and small animals.

There are not enough volunteers to cope with all of this and the neutering sessions that we do 3 times a year (70 to 80 cats per session and some dogs), in the 3 days the vets are on the island.

I trust this will make more clear what Hydra Ark does for the island animals.

Hydra Ark Volunteer

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:38 pm
by HydraArk
Please be advised that the opinion of the forum member “Hydriot” DOES
NOT in any way represent the people of Hydra or Greeks in general.

Tourists on the island are complaining by the thousands to animal
welfare societies in Greece and abroad and demand that something be
done regarding the plight of stray animals on Hydra; and rescuers are
doing their best in compliance with global standards – scientific and
humane – to tackle the issue. Feral cats ARE NOT wild animals. There
are no species of wild cats on the island. Stray cats cannot survive
on their own. They rely on rescuers and kind tourists for food. Trap –
Neuter- Release is the best way to save these poor souls. TNR is
supported universally by all animal protection organizations (HSUS,

TNR is not a controversial method! It is the most widely accepted and
humane way to end the suffering of stray cats.

On an island where stray cat mothers die of malnutrition before they
could even breastfeed their babies, talking about the brave efforts of
brave people like “Hydriot” did is hubris. We are struggling in Greece
to alleviate their suffering without any governmental support or

Please, rather than rely on the opinion of one person whose religious
beliefs come in direct opposition to humane ways of helping animals in
need, contact registered animal protection charities in Greece to
learn the reality of the situation.

Animal charities that you can contact to learn firsthand the dreadful
situation in Greece and Hydra specifically:

Nine Lives Greece

Animal Action Greece

Greek Animal Rescue (Uk based)

These people are also the recipients of numerous complaints by
tourists on the Greek islands who cut their vacation short because
they cannot deal emotionally with the sight of hundreds of underweight
and sick animals begging for food.

Abuse is also widespread.

PS. Last summer, I got an email from a store owner on Hydra pleading
with me to find a loving home for a kitten that was born to a stray
cat. She was crying and telling me that she cannot take the kitten
home with her because of her cat-aggressive dogs, and she feared every
day that the kitten would not make it on the streets. THIS IS THE

Please reconsider donating to Hydra Ark. Every female cat that is
spayed means 5 less kittens that will die a horrible death. It is a
lovely cause to support.

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:09 pm
by HydraArk
The accusation that Hydra Ark’s volunteers are bent on the extermination of Hydra’s cat population is as absurd as it is uninformed. Without a consistent TNR program in place, the cat population grows to unsupportable levels, resulting in starving and diseased animals, which nobody wants—neither tourists nor residents. Since Hydra Ark began a regular TNR program, the health of the cat population has improved dramatically, tourists and locals regularly comment on the good condition of the cats, and resident Hydriots now cooperate with Hydra Ark to have street cats in their areas brought for neutering so as to keep the colonies healthy and manageable. As there are thousands of cats on the island and we manage to neuter fewer than 300 per year, our TNR session will hardly wipe out the population. If “hydriot” is concerned to preserve the welfare and presence of cats on Hydra, perhaps s/he would be interested in helping to track down the person(s) responsible for poisoning about seventy cats and several dogs in Hydra Town and Kamini over the winter, most of which were neutered and healthy and all of which died agonizing, slow deaths. We at HydraArk do not see that as an acceptable means of population control--or "playing God." Perhaps hydriot did not hear the yowls of cat procreation in this last mating season. Perhaps s/he is not here to see the resultant healthy, well-fed kittens. A few of HydraArk's volunteers will work tirelessly all winter to try to ensure that they remain well fed and healthy.

We really do hope that your group will reconsider donating to HydraArk. Right now we are relying on funding from the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust in Geneva, but those funds go to TNR, and we have other expenses, including food and medication; we must also pay for occasional trips to a vet in Athens in emergencies and when necessary for euthanasia. We rely on the kindness of Hydra lovers and animal lovers to help us in that work. Any donation you made would be immeasurably appreciated.

Thank you for considering us in the first place!
Jennifer Fagan, Christina Stamatakou, Maria Hanson, Athina Tsigourakou, and the rest of Hydra Ark's volunteers

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Thu Sep 18, 2014 9:36 pm
by MarieM
Dear Friends,

Leonard's birthday is only a few days away now. As of this moment we have raised 17,500 EUR towards the building of the bench on Hydra. 330 people have contributed to the project. We will be including each contributor's name along with country of residence, indicated by the contributor, in the birthday greeting to Leonard.

It is expected that with the bench costs and a small fund put aside for future maintenance of the bench, we will have approximately 6-7,000 EUR to donate to the social and cultural needs of Hydra. To that end, we first explored the possibility of purchasing some equipment for the hospital. We have since learned that the hospital is privately funded therefore, a donation would not be appropriate. We have not completely given up on contributing to Hydra's medical needs. Currently, we are exploring whether there is a need for an automated external defibrillator for use by the community.

We also have learned that the school on Hydra has some basic needs. For instance, three window are in need of repair. So, we are exploring this possibility.

The Hydra Ark was also a popular group mentioned on the Forum to possibly receive a portion of our excess funds. There was an indication that some on Hydra may not be happy with some of the Ark's policies. We are sensitive to these concerns. Since in all cases, our donation will go to fund specific purchases, we feel confident that if the Ark was to receive a donation we could work with them in making a purchase that folks on Hydra would appreciate as beneficial for the animals.

Finally, the Cinema Club also has needs. Their equipment is out-of-date and as we know when it comes to electronics, you need the latest equipment to play films in their most readily available format. Leonard attended the film viewings by the Cinema Club when he was on Hydra. Further, the Cinema Club has been very generous in making the bi-annual visits by Forum members special. Finally, the Cinema Club has volunteered to monitor our bench to make sure it is kept in good condition and notify us when repairs are needed. Therefore, we do feel they should be given consideration in receiving a portion of our excess funds.

As you can see from this report, no decision can yet be made on how to distribute the excess funds. There is no rush. We want our donations to be meaningful and well-considered. We will continue to explore the possibilities based on the outline provided here and will report in a few weeks or when information becomes more definite.

Jarkko and Marie

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:40 pm
by anny
Jarkko,I want to contribute, but I'm having trouble with my home banking and have to wait till monday to go to the bank :(
hope its not too late


Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:49 pm
by jarkko
It wouldn't be too late to contribute through PayPal - the deadline is Sunday morning European time (because we'll see the payment immediatelly).
If you pay to the bank account, it will take several days until we have the payments verified.
However, those of you who can't use PayPal and still want to send us a contribution, just pay to the bank account - let's say on Monday latest.
Please send me by email all the details of your upcoming payment (on Sunday morning latest), and we will include you in the list which will be sent to Leonard on Sunday (his time).
Needless to say, we expect that all who'll use this option also honor their pledge.

ALSO: if anybody has paid to the bank account this week, let's say on or after Tuesday, please send me the details, too, by email! This way we will be able to list you even if there is a delay with the bank statement!

No checks any more please!

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:54 pm
by surrender
Dear Hydra Ark volunteers,
thank you for the report about your activities; you have my vote.

Kind regards,

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:53 pm
by yoeri
Every year I visit Greece. I love the country, the people, the nature, the sea, the sun, the culture, but not the way animals are treated all too often... A lot improvement is needed there...

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:14 am
by mirka
Just made a contribution, I'm in Poland right now, it's Sunday 10am, hope it's still not too late....?

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:13 am
by jarkko
Hi All,
we are still getting emails from people who have now found our project and want to participate.

Leonard got our Birthday greeting yesterday, with all the names we had at that moment.
All names, including the latecomers, will be printed in the photo book next summer.

I am abroad with my clients and will be back home on Thursday.
We will keep the PayPal and bank accounts open until that,
so if there is any who'd love to participate so just go ahead.
After Thursday we are going to close the accounts.

Right now we have collected 18,700 eur from 343 contributors.
This means that with the extra money we will be able to support two or three
social and cultural projects on the island.

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:23 pm
by HugoD
Wow, 18700 euro by 343 participants. Thats 54,52 euro on average. :shock:

How generous !

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:38 am
by jarkko
We are still getting emails from members who for various reasons didn't find our Project in time, and are now asking how they could join in some way. The bank account in Ireland is now closed, but we keep the PayPal channel open for some more days for the late-late-comers.

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:56 am
by Olwen
Jarkko, I am just wondering if there is a place where we can see the list of names of the contributors?

Re: Leonard 80 years: Fund Raising for our Hydra Bench

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 12:09 pm
by jarkko
Putting the names online would be a bit problematic because we didn't ask the contributors for permission to do that.
We only said the names will be sent to Leonard on his birthday (done!) and printed in a photo book which will be made next summer in two copies. One for Leonard. The other one will be deposited at the Hydra Museum where it can be read by visitors.
Right now we have 364 names in the list, and we are pretty close to 19,000 eur.