Greek Vet Clinic Inundated With Injured Pets After Fires
The heartbreaking aftermath of the vicious Athens wildfires has left death tolls rising, while thousands of pets have been injured and left without homes.
What you need to know
- Vet Irene Mavrakis has treated 70 animals at her clinic, that's four times as many as she normally would
- More than 80 people have lost their lives in the fires
- Authorities suspect arson is responsible for some of the fires
The vicious fires that ripped through the small resort town of Mati, Greece have devastated locals, leaving hundreds homeless mourning the loss of lives and declaring three days of national mourning.
Through the charred remains of houses totally destroyed and the river of burnt cars that were abandoned when people ran for their lives, a small vet clinic is giving locals something to smile about.
Meet Fire, the tiny kitten was rescued from a blaze and suffered burns to all four of her paws and tail, she was discovered by volunteers and taken to the Vets 4 Life clinic with dozens of other animals injured and separated from their owners.
Under the care of Veterinarian Irene Mavrakis, Fire is receiving much needed medical treatment.
"It's very painful, as you can see, the paw is damaged and it bleeds," Mavrakis reportedly told the Associated Press, as she treated the kitten's injuries.
Local Evangelina Gkika, visited the clinic wanting to help and asked to adopt the "worst animal" injured in the fire, she met the kitten and immediately named her 'Fire', describing it as "love at first sight."
In the last week Mavrakis says she has treated 70 animals, four times what she usually would.
Teams of volunteers spend their days in the worst hit areas of the seaside town, searching for injured animals and placing food and water for wildlife and the animals that hide from the volunteers, still traumatised from the horrific fires that spread so quickly.
They rescue the ones they can and bring them to the clinic for treatment, hoping to find them suitable homes but as Anna Valvi, member of a local adoption centre explains, it's rare to find animals alive.
"We find injured animals which need medial attention, we leave them food and water when we find them alive but this is not very often because the animals aren't always found alive," Valvi said.
Mavrakis said a steady stream of residents have been visiting the clinic, trying to find their pets who fled during the fires or were left behind when their owners ran for their lives. Some people have lost everything and are holding onto the hope that they will find their beloved pets alive.
"There are so many people trying to get help, looking for their pets, crying all the time and we're trying to help the animals, we're trying to take care of their burns, their wounds, and it's very difficult," Mavrakis said.
In the back room of the clinic there are dozens of animals suffering burns and other injuries, all waiting for their owners to find them, some will need new homes, as the human death toll currently stands at 83.
In the meantime, Mavrakis and her team continue to treat all the animals they can and are working tirelessly on social media to connect pets with their families.
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