Land Purchase Update

In 2018 the charity found itself in a very difficult position.The premises where the charity was based, no longer allowed the charity to operate from there.

It was a very difficult time, where would the cats go that were in the care of the charity? what will happen to them ? how could the charity continue ? Social media is a very powerful tool, the charity supporters from all over the world joined together.

Award winning film director Philip Bloom travelled to Skiathos to make documentaries of the situation. This really kickstarted the fundraising to try and raise enough donations to buy land and give the charity the future everyone dreamed of. For those who have not seen these amazing documentaries you can find them here.

Donations were raised over the course of 1,5 years specifically to buy land and the target was reached. The search for land began.

What the charity did not anticipate was the impact of tourism on land prices and availability of suitable plots that would cover all the legal requirements for the construction of a sanctuary. Skiathos is a small expensive island for land purchases compared to other areas of Greece.

Investigating with engineers and a lawyer team the charity got a list of criteria for the new land in order to get a permit for any building premises.

  • Has to be facing an “official” road (Skiathos has mainly dirt roads on one central road).
  • Skiathos is an island with about 50% designated as forest area where no building allowed.
  • It has to be away from residences
  • It should be close to the town where the vets are located as gasoline costs as as high as 200 euros per month with the multiple trips to the vets daily for all emergencies and for feeding the strays around the island.
  • It has to be at least 4 stremma (1/4 acre) in order to get a permit and it must also be clear of any forest designated land.

With Covid arriving all search for land had a stall facing so many problems and stress of caring for the strays with the restrictions andlockdowns we had to wait until lands came up for sale again.

Following Covid and the reopening of tourism with the high inflation of the last 2 years and still rising, prices of lands have tripled in Skiathos. Even small plots in non accessible areas have risen so much their price prohibitory.

Thankfully the charity was loaned a land and it is operating there from the last few years. The charity had to incur the costs to create a safe environment for the cats not to roam around and have sheltering from rain and cold.

The search for land continues and it is sad to hold the funds without any suitable land to create permanent long standing premises that will keep safe the cats for many years to come but the charity team does not give up constantly looking at plots and evaluating their suitability.