Since 2017, we have been committed to the dogs of Aspropyrgos, an area located 15 km northwest of the city centre of Athens. Literally translated as ‘White Tower’, it is an area covering over 100 km2 (c40 sq. miles). It is an area that is economically poor and has working and derelict industrial, chemical, military and other industrial complexes spread over a substantial geographical area.
Struggling to survive in the run down, barren and industrial landscape are an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 abandoned dogs. This is a ‘best guess’ number, as we know of no systematic attempt either by official or voluntary organisations to quantify the number of strays in Aspropyrgos. Certainly the City of Aspropyrgos Municipal Government has never provided any support to address the problem and the welfare concerns created by it.
The shocking truth is that Aspropyrgos is a location to which Athens residents are known to take unwanted dogs and dump them. Because this area is so sparsely populated, there is less of a chance of being caught in the act, so it’s easy to drive up into the foothills of Attica and dump a dog, and it just keeps happening.
The only hope for these dogs comes from the local, volunteer-led groups operating in the area – ‘Ghost Dogs’ of Aspropyrgos and AnimAid Animal Rescue.