Network for Animals (NFA) has stepped in to help hungry street cats on the Greek island of Ithaca. NFA has pledged to buy food for a year for the cats and kittens who live in the isolated village of Stavros.

“The cats are a nuisance to the island people, most are poisoned or put in plastic bags and gassed,” explained local resident Monica Degan. Monica has feeding the village cats and those who live in the surrounding forest, but the Greek financial crisis is so severe she can no longer bear the financial burden alone. “The cats would have starved without the help from Network for Animals, she said. “Thank you so much, because for or the next year the cats will be safe.”

David Barritt, Network for Animals chief campaigner said NFA will now extend to Ithaca the help it gives to sterilisation programmes in the neighbouring island of Kefalonia.

Barritt said Greece’s economic crisis has taken a terrible toll on animal welfare in the country. “People abandon their pets because they can no longer afford to feed them. Matters are made worse because animal lovers who once used spare cash to feed street dogs, are now so impoverished that many can barely feed themselves.”

Barritt said NFA is receiving pleas for help from across the country. “Clearly animals are in trouble in Greece. We have substantially increased our aid this year, but much more help is needed,” he said.