Volunteers in pop-up shelters are treating hundreds of animals injured and displaced by tragic wildfires that occurred in the outskirts of the capital of Greece. The temporary shelters are located in an abandoned quarry in Athens.
As the flames spread through woods close to residential area last weekend, thousands of inhabitants were forced to evacuate. Many of them had to leave their pets and animals behind, Reuters reported.
The animal rescue organisations set up the pop-up shelter within hours and started helping abandoned animals immediately.
So far, the shelters helped more than 200 animals - pets and stray animals - from across Attica, the region which includes the city of Athens. The animals with severe burns were taken to veterinary hospitals.
"We call on everyone who saved animals from fire-stricken areas to bring them here," said Eleni Dede, founder of the Dogs' Voice rescue group.
"There are animals with light burns, respiratory problems, animals that are exhausted, and we are trying to do our best," she said.
Local people are helping the volunteers as much as they can. The shelter says it received more help than it had anticipated. The non-profit hopes that most of the animals will be reunited with their owners and the others will find new homes soon.
"The outreach has been fantastic. We have more people than we can handle," said Petros Ziogas, a Dogs' Voice volunteer. "Our main goal is to end up without animals here," he said.
Last week, over 500 wildfires broke out across the country during a very long heatwave. In Peloponnese peninsula fires have destroyed large parts of natural forest lands killing many animals.
Greece and nearby Turkey have been battling devastating fires for nearly two weeks. The extremely hot, dry weather is likely to fuel wildfires. The region suffers temperatures above 45C.
Longer and more severe heatwaves are becoming more common because of climate change.