Santorini visitors have the power to change things for the better!

Do not participate in animal torture activities

  • Do not take rides on sick donkeys (emaciation, apathy, lack of expression, empty stare, teary eyes, dull fur, protruding pelvis bones, unsteady gait, etc.) or in the midday heat
  • Examine the mounts closely (injury from spurs, kicks, foot shackles, saddles/bridles, mouthpieces/snaffles, bad treatment, etc.)
  • Notice the behavior of the animal carer/driver; make a complaint if appropriate; change the provider or renounce the ride
  • For your own safety and protection of the donkey, check the saddle and bridle; do not accept any makeshift or patchwork solutions.

Plan ahead already as you book your holiday

  • Note the contact details of local animal welfare organizations and vets.
  • Book a progressive hotel, which sterilizes “its” hotel cats and has set up official feeding spots on the hotel grounds (STERILA-pipeline project).
  • With the right knowledge, tourists can already prevent and stop a lot of abuse.

Feeding stray dogs and cats is not enough

  • Help the stray and homeless animals on Santorini with your support of a local animal welfare organization like SAWA (main focus: dogs, donkeys) and STERILA (main focus: cats). There are many ways of helping us fight the vicious cycle of overpopulation, abuse and cruelty: Donations of food, material and money; or tell the world – the world has to know! or participate in on-site visits (especially at SAWA) or volunteer activities: help us for example for a few days in November till March monitoring cats, documenting sterilizations, taking pictures, driving x to y, and enjoy returning cats to the point of trapping. Especially for kids and young animal welfare activists: Help STERILA by sharing your pictures of ear-clipped (EC) cats with us and the world – be happy when you detect one – this cat will have a healthier, better life! Everyone can help through feeding cat food (no human food) at feeding points; and please do give water to stray cats, always, everywhere; lastly, you can become an expert too and learn/implement a TNR-action: STERILA welcomes you to free workshops on-site – get in touch.
  • When the tourist season comes to an end, countless homeless cats are poisoned, abandoned, run over, killed or eliminated in some other way. Cruel scenes that are repeated every year. Scenes that can be prevented! The whole thing sounds so brutal but the solution would be easy: To capture the stray and take it to the vet for sterilization. These animals are then marked and can be easily fed (exclusively with cat food.) They no longer multiply and their young must not die in the winter, be eaten by dogs or disposed of by humans.

Have a cat sterilized during your stay on Santorini

  • Check the procedure under the Adoption tab.
  • Travel with a cat transport bag instead of a beauty case. You can also contact STERILA before coming to borrow a transport box for a deposit fee. Plan your cat mission thoroughly from home. Start on your mission at the beginning of your stay on Santorini. Capture a clearly unsterilized cat (minimum 6 months old.) Keep away from tame, trustful cats; they might already be sterilized without a mark such as tattoo or ear-clip. Bring your furry friend, preferably on an empty stomach, to one of our partner vets and get a sterilization document with the header «STERILA». Take a picture of the cat before and after sterilization. Time it so that you can still keep an eye on/get to see the cat after sterilization for a minimum of 3 days (feeding spots). Release the cat exactly in the place that you captured it (under no circumstances elsewhere!). The time of release will be arranged prior together with the vet. With your pictures (mandatory) and the provided document, STERILA HQ (Kamari, Santorini) will refund you the sterilization costs, if you drop by in person within 10 days after the sterilization.
  • With the sterilization process, you have already helped this cat a lot! It will have a better, healthier life (decreased fight wounds, sexually transmitted diseases, etc.). Most importantly, with your successful TNR measure, you will have prevented tens of thousands of unwanted cat births over the years


    There is NO cat shelter on Santorini and STERILA relies on foster homes which are usually full but we will try our best find space for your rescue. If no space, we suggest to consider a Pet hotel which usually costs EUR 5 per night.

    If you would like to report an emergency, the best way to contact us is either via Whatsapp or Facebook. Include your answers to the following questions so that volunteers can respond faster:

    - Where is the exact location?

    - When was the last time you last saw the cat/s?

    - Is there an emergency or in need of medical attention? If yes, please bring to the vet ASAP. Information on Santorini vets are in our Contact page.

    - Please send photos

    - Until when are you in Santorini?

    - Will you be willing to sponsor the cat/s? Cover medical expense bills (if needed)?

    - Are you willing to adopt/foster?

    - Is the cat afraid of humans?

    - Are the hotel/restaurant close by feeding the cat/s? Please also check tourists nearby if they can help. We have wonderful stories with a chain of tourists helping strays until they get adopted.


    If you are reporting a kitten, please wait and do not move the kitten as the cat mom might come back. If no sign of the cat mom after a few hours, please contact us!


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