Reporting dog owner

Reporting a dog owner.
Measures against the owners of chain dogs in Crete, their warning and reporting to the police with the criminal consequences.

chained under clearly illegal circumstances
Two dogs chained under clearly illegal circumstances.

t arrow2 To Part I: Chain dogs legal ?.

Measures against owners of chain dogs

To maintain the pressure on the owners of these chain dogs, its important

(A) in obvious or urgent cases, immediately report to the nearest police station (call 100 in emergencies).

There is also now a hotline of the Greek police (Phone 10410).


For the region of Agios Nikolaos:


Hotline animal abuse
Hotline Greek police in case of animal abuse.
Report to the police Address: Erithrou Stavrou 47, Ag. Nikolaos 721 00, Greece
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: +30 2841 091413
you can do this reporting without giving your name (anonymous report). The police must act it is their duty according to law.

On the Greek island of Lesbos there is even a ‘dog police‘ which you can contact here or via Facebook Canilos.

Furthermore, there is now also the lawyers’ network Lawyers for the Animals of Greece – the legal voice for the animals – (website currently unfortunately only in Greek), which you can turn to for help.

(B) Moreover, it is useful, to report these with photos and exact coordinates by a post (e.g. from Google Map) on Animal Welfare Report Crete or by e-mail with all required information as attachment to

report bestdogs

to make the situation public, which often leads to a reaction of the responsible authorities. Additional, thanks to existing contacts with the police commands of the prefecture of Chania and the administrative district of Aghios Nikolaus and Ierapetra, reports from this areas can usually be forwarded immediately to the police.

 chain dog vegetating in the sun
A chain dog vegetating in the sun despite injuries is a clear advance of the animal protection law.

Basically it is better to do something once too much than – as unfortunately most people do – nothing at all and just watch.

Only constant pressure on the owners will change the situation for chain dogs !

Part I: Warning the owner:

If you want to warn and inform the owner of the chain dog about his duties, you can print the following document in Greek language (2 pages) and attach it to the place of the dog:

Information for owners of chain dogs
In the case of pitifully accommodated chain dogs, a caution attached to the warning papers about duties and sequences for the keeper.

Requirements for the treatment of dogs (2 pages)

The text informs roughly in English:
Dear farmer, Mr. etc..
 We inform you that according to law 4039/2012&4830/2021 (on the protection of animals…) a dog:
– Be kept in a dry, clean and protected from the weather,
– The dog must not be tethered at all times or have unsuitable structures (e.g. metal structures such as barrels) for shelter.
– Be vaccinated and provide a health certificate from a veterinarian
– Provide adequate food and water,
– Have an electronic identification card (“chip”) – similar to the familiar “earring” that sheep and goats have
– Ensure that his dog is not tethered on his property at all times and in no case for more than two (2) hours per day, even if the chain or leash is long. Failure of the owner of the animals to enforce the rules for the protection and good treatment of animals, and failure on his part to comply with the specific requirements of paragraph 1. 2 of Article 2 to ensure their welfare (Article 2(2)) EUR 1,000.
Neutering is mandatory for all owners.
We therefore ask you to remove your dog from its current location and provide it with the care required by law. We will return to check the condition of the animals. If the situation does not improve, we will be forced to involve the relevant authorities. Thank you.
 For more information and explanations, please visit and (Animal Welfare Act Monitoring Agent).

Part II: Threaten the owner:

Beware of owners of chain dogs
Unfortunately mostly true: Beware of owners of chain dogs !

To threaten the owner with a report to the police, there is another document. For this measure you would have to be on the spot for some time – or you would have to put everything up immediately (with the threat of the police report).
If there is no improvement on the site a few weeks later after the pre-warning above, you should attach Part II:

Warning and punishment (4 pages)

The text informs in English approximately:

Dear farmer, Mr. etc..
A few weeks ago we sent you an information letter informing you about the law 4039/2012 & 4830/2021 ‘For the protection of animals’ and asking you to improve the living conditions of your dogs. During a re-inspection we found that the condition of the animals has not improved.

Law 4039/2012 (Article 4) and 4830/2021 require all dogs to be equipped with an electronic identification card (“chip”) – similar to the well-known “earring” that sheep and goats have. If the dog does not have an electronic identification card (“chip”), the fine in case of control by the Greek police is three hundred (-300-) euros (Article 21). Appropriate and good living conditions such as: A suitable house and not a barrel or other makeshift structure, daily food (for dogs) and no food scraps or various raw meats (waste from slaughtered lambs, etc.), clean water daily, and not being constantly tied to a road with a short chain or rope, even inside your property. The area where the dog is kept must be cleared of dog feces on a regular basis, and a veterinary health record must be on file with the legally required vaccinations. Ensure that the dog is not permanently chained, and in no case for more than two (2) hours per day, INSIDE the property, even if the chain or leash is long – NO CONTINUOUS CHAINING! (Fine of €1,000 for 24 hours chained dog).
To neuter his pet, if it is a dog or a cat, within six (6) months from the date of acquisition, if the animal is older than one (1) year. Failure to sterilize a dog or cat or to submit a sample of its genetic material to the EGLWF (Article 9(1)(A)) EUR 1 000.
Failure to have a current passport (Article 9(1)(F)) EUR 300.
Failure to identify and register the dog or cat or to report the loss of the pet animal in a timely manner, and failure to enter all required information about the owner or pet animal and any changes thereto in the register (Article 9(1)(b) and (c)) 300 EUR.

In case of non-compliance with all these provisions, Law 4039/12&4830/2021 provides for a fine of initially 1000 euros for the bad keeping of the dog, which can go up to 30000 euros, and a judicial procedure with a penalty of at least one year in prison.

Despite our repeated urging and communications to you, you have not done what is appropriate and legal under the law 4039/12&4830/2021 for the welfare of your dog. So, we remind you one last time to improve the living conditions of your dog, because in the next inspection that will take place soon, we will be forced to involve the Hellenic Police to impose the above mentioned fines and penalties according to the Law 4039/12&4830/2021.
For more information and explanation, please visit (Information and Enforcement Officer of Law 4039/12&4830/21). (Information and Enforcement Agent of Law 4039/12&4830/2021).

On pages 3 and 4, the main rules of the Animal Welfare Law are explained once again.

If there is still no reaction from the owner some time later, you should call the police.
If you are not there long enough and/or the situation is self-evident for a report, you could inform the police immediately.

But there is also the possibility to inform the Greek Ministry of Tourism about all maltreated or poorly kept animals. Fill out the official complaint form (because of ‘Animals Treatment’) and send the complaint to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, preferably together with photos and the exact location.

By e-mail:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Mailing address:
The Greek Tourism Organization (EOT)
Dept of Complaints and Consumer Protection An. Tsocha 24 & Soutsou
11521 Athens

or contact the G.T.O page on Facebook here:
or twitter

Reporting to the police

If the measures described above are unsuccessful or not possible, report the matter to a nearby police station. If there is a larger city or town nearby, report it there, as the chances of success and police officers’ knowledge about the details and foreign language skills are better there.

For the report you should present photos or videos of the condition and keeping of the dog – if possible over the entire observation period and with date and time on it – and be able to indicate the exact place – best with coordinates, e.g. from Google Maps. Make sure that there are no persons, house numbers or street names on the pictures, as this may violate data protection regulations and personal rights.

Google Map Coordinates
Google Map Coordinates: The browser link of the position can be copied (bordered in red) and the coordinates of the marked position on the map are displayed in the upper left corner (bordered in purple).

At the police station, show a copy of the Greek government’s order, which instructs the police to record and investigate such complaints, as well as to provide written proof of the measures taken. (an English version is available here)

To file charges at the police (take photos or video with you) in case of violations against the Greek animal protection law is not the usual ‘ad fee’ due! The police have to prosecute offenses against animals ex officio!
The police should not disclose the personal details of the person who made the complaint. However, to be on the safe side, it is advisable to point out that the holder is aggressive.

photo of the evidence
Here, the time and date of the photo of the evidence are clearly visible in the lower right corner.

Please remain courteous, but persistently, against government officials or the police. Insults or the use of abuse are a criminal offense in Greece, which can lead to immediate arrest, especially in the case of unpopular concerns. Therefore, always remain friendly and polite, no matter how hard this is.

If the police does not support or obstruct your cause, you will receive support from the PFPO organisation. Please contact the contacts listed in this PFPO brochure.


animal abuse
The animal abuse, passive or active heavy criminal offense … Learn what awaits you … 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine up to € 15,000; Law 4039/12

Criminal proceedings in Greece unfortunately take many years and considerably longer than in Germany or Great Britain.
The police, however, impose immediate fines if violations of the Animal Welfare Act are found on the spot after the case has been reported. In the case of serious infringements or emergencies (e.g. sick or injured animals) these can also be taken away immediately and then adopted.

The punishments are among other things (the individual amounts are subject however to constant adjustments):

  • Absence of a certificate for electronic identification/chip: €300.
  • Absence of the microchip and registration of the holder: €300.
  • Infringement of animal welfare rules or refusal by the veterinarian: €300.
  • Exposure of pets: €300
  • No metal stamp with vaccination date on animal: €100
  • No cleaning of the environment of the animal from excrement: €100.
  • Lack of animal passport or health book or violation of animal welfare rules: €300.
  • Continuation of the journey after an animal has been approached on the road: €300.
  • Cruelty to animals or abuse: €30,000
Happy ex-barrel dogs
Two of the chain dogs previously seen in the pictures were rescued by an attentive animal lover and now live happily at his home.

Legally binding penalties – which unfortunately can last – can also lead to the removal of the animal and more serious offenses to imprisonment. If, for example, an animal cruelty is reported, documented and the offender can be seized quickly, the person who reports the offense can apply for immediate arrest.

Update: On November 5, 2020, the Greek Parliament adopted a new draft law with increased penalties: Serious animal abuse is now a crime punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Under the new rules, persons who mistreat animals must also pay a fine of between 5,000 and 15,000 euros. The minimum prison sentence will be one year.
Penalties have also been increased for other forms of animal abuse, such as abandoning pets and a number of acts that affect the welfare of animals. This law defines abuse as poisoning, hanging, burning or mutilating of animals.

The February 2021 bill also makes pet abuse punishable by more severe fines, and laws against such abuse now include acts such as abandonment, shooting, intentional injury, and poisoning.
Existing fines for serious misdemeanors will also be increased under the new bill.
A new national pet registry will be introduced in Greece, where all pets – both owned and stray – must be registered, including animals given up for adoption. Animal welfare associations, veterinarians, breeders and animal shelters must also register.

The criminal records of people convicted of animal cruelty are now entered into a database managed by the Athens Prosecutor’s Office. It will be cross-checked with the pet registry, so that in the future these individuals will no longer be able to register as pet owners.

To encourage owners to take better care of their pets, the bill introduces incentives through municipalities, such as reducing municipal taxes by up to 10 percent.

Adoption of a chain dog:
If the owner does not pay the fine imposed by the police on time or wants to avoid this fine in advance, the dog can optionally be taken over by a private person or animal welfare organization and passed on for adoption.

Disclaimer: Since I am not a lawyer, the previous explanations are the result of my personal research, opinion and my own experiences. It is not legal advice.

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