• Gouves Animal ShelterGoúrnes – Crete – Greece


made possible by

– “Stormie” of Belle (sister of our dog, the late Loef)


A beautiful country, nice weather, nice people and what good food! The roads are a bit bumpy just like the attitude towards animals. Of course not every Greek has this attitude! Looking at the number of shelters in Greece, it looks like putting your pet on the street is a cultural thing. Many animals are put on the street and unfortunately also the neglected, sick and injured dogs are abandoned.


Fortunately there are also people who take care of these animals and there is an increasing political attention. That’s a sign that salvation is near, right? Still much needs to be done and until that time Gouves Animal Shelter is committed to the stray animals on Crete. Their mission is:

  • Ensure that there are fewer stray animals on the island
  • Helping animals that really need help
  • Help one dog at a time

Every year, 300 animals from the shelter are relocated to a permanent place for a carefree life.


The asylum is completely dependent on donations. Fortunately, it is illegal in Greece to sell stray dogs. In this way, unlike Eastern European countries, there is no commercial trade in ‘pathetic dogs’ with harrowing scenes.


The driving force behind this shelter. With unprecedented dedication, he takes care of the animals for over 11 years. With or without the help of the volunteers, he is there for the animals from 5 in the morning and closes at 10 o’clock in the evening. He even feeds the stray cats from the neighbourhood twice a day by taking a ride in the area. A real hero if you ask me.


There are many people who help Mr. Manolis with the daily care. Without these volunteers, the situation would be untenable.


Including an ex-stray dog in your household is not necessarily the best for the dog, some dogs are very scared and therefore cannot fit into the new home situation. Personally I would (if I had no young children) go to the shelter for a few days and find out which dog suits me best. Do not look at appearance, but at the connection you get. In addition, keep in mind that former stray dogs may need lifelong medication.


The shelter is located 15 minutes from Heraklion Airport on an abandoned military base. If you are in the area keep in mind that a visit is always welcome. Go and cuddle the dogs and take one for a walk. Emotionally bear in mind that you cannot help all animals. Pet as many as possible so that they receive attention and love. Every dog that gets attentions is one!


Gouves Animal Shelter
Ex American Military Base
Goúrnes, Iraklion, Crete, Greece

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