A cafe on the Mytilene port of Lesvos island is opening its doors at 3 am every night to offer stray dogs shelter from the cold.
The cafe – named Hott Spot, after the refugee registration center operating on the island – allows homeless dogs to escape the winter temperatures so they can use the sofas and “sleep without being cold,” according to a post on the Greek blog Zoosos.
A waiter of the cafe told The Independent: “In the city there are many dogs. When the bar closes each night, the dogs come and sleep here. We don’t have a problem. From July, every night there is a dog on the couch.” He also said customers have no problem sharing the place with the canines.
Earlier this week a photograph of sleeping dogs laying on the cafe’s seating went viral on social media.
Eustratios Papanis, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of the Aegean who took the original photo, December 2, wrote on social media: “[Greece] has strict laws about animal protection, but culture and knowledge are the key factors for changing long standing indifference, negligence or maltreatment.”
Papanis also wrote that since the refugee crisis there has been a real shift in the way people are now treating others – including the island’s stray dogs.
More than 800,000 refugees from Syria and other Middle East nations have crossed to Greece via the Aegean, and most of them have passed through Lesvos, due to its proximity to the Turkish shores.
The hospitality the island residents have extended to the refugees seems to have poured over to the stray dogs, Papanis wrote.
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