| by Nicolas Stephanou, April 2005
The new PAWS (Paros Animal Welfare Society) committee has now been elected and comprises: Nicolas Stephanou (president), Tassia Manolopoulou (vice-president), Claire Kalemkeris (secretary), Maria Court (treasurer), Christoph Beiner (member), Anna Foti (member) and Nikos Polos ( supplementary member).
One of our first priorities is organizational: PAWS needs to become an effective organization by opening itself to its social environment and attracting members with more diverse backgrounds and to make operational the General Assembly which has to be the higher level for decision-making. PAWS has to resolve as well the issue created by the fact that a good proportion of its members are not residents of the island by establishing permanent communication paths with them, including, why not, remote voting. Moreover PAWS wants to work for the optimization of every available human resource in Paros, is open for collaboration with parties that wish to maintain their independence, but remains vigilant against illegal private fund raising.
PAWS also will have to lobby for the enforcement of law 3170 - a very good law in its main points and in effect since July 2003 - but still, even now, hardly at all implemented.
This law regulates all issues concerning pets and strays. The main points are:
- all pets have to be chipped (including hunting and guard dogs);
- municipalities, in collaboration with local animal welfare organizations, have the obligation to develop no-kill shelters where strays have to be moved while having veterinary check ups and be sterilized, vaccinated, de-parasited and chipped. Healthy dogs that cannot be re-homed are then returned to their territory. Only antisocial and untreatable animals are allowed to be put to sleep.
We are currently undertaking a research project that includes practical feedback from other organizations and which will help us produce a complete feasibility study that we will present to the municipal authorities.
Funding is supposedly available from the Ministry of Finance, but we will work simultaneously for municipal and private funding for the realization of the project and its maintenance. The concept for fund raising is that every euro spent for animal welfare improvement is an investment towards the image of Paros. And as everyone knows, image-making is an essential element for the success of a holiday resort.
If you wish to become a member, a donor or want to support us in any way, drop us a line at: paws at parosweb.org. Existing members please don't forget to renew your membership if you haven't already done so. Annual membership is € 30 and can be paid to the new PAWS bank account or via secure online payment by credit card at http://paws.parosweb.com/paypage.html. We were required to obtain a new account number now that we have a tax ID number and an official society bank account (the previous account was a private one).