A Greek island cafe is in the spotlight after a photo emerged online that shows the cafe’s owner opening its doors to stray dogs every night after close. The cafe, Hott Spott, usually closes its doors to humans around 3 am. That’s when the owner allows any stray dogs inside to sleep on the couches overnight.
A photo of several dogs sleeping inside the establishment was uploaded to Facebook by Eustratios Papanis, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of the Aegean. That photo has made the rounds for the past few weeks, drawing attention to the sweet gesture.
Antonis, a waiter at the cafe, explained to The Independent that, “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.” Antonis added that the dogs have been kept comfy in Hott Spott since July.
Stray dogs are managed differently in Greece than in other areas of the European Union and United States. Rather than being taken to a shelter, the strays are collared, microchipped, and taken care of by the community at large.
The Dodo notes that one Athens resident explained how not everyone has a home large enough for a dog. Because of this, the country’s citizens, “look after the street dogs. We feed them, pet them, and play with them. They are like our own pets, but they belong to everyone instead.”
The refugee crisis has also added to random acts of kindness like the cafe opening its doors to stray dogs.
Eustratios explained that the refugee crisis and Greece’s crippling debt issues have caused people to have “increased levels of solidarity towards environmental and humanistic issues.” The assistant professor added, “the new generation is more sensitive and well informed.”
Antonis also says that a television company wants to make a program about the Greek cafe and the stray dogs who seek comfort inside it every night.