Due to the accommodating climate, cats
thrive. Eleni and I are cat lovers, and we have adopted several. Please
though observe the following for your villa or apartment:
Do not feed stray cats or let them inside. The subsequent clients may
dislike or be allergic to them. More importantly the cats become dependent
on food given to them and may starve during the winter.
There are several charities operating on Corfu who look after animals. The
most prominent animal charity on Corfu is 'the Ark.' Their mission is to
help stray cats and dogs and they operate a feeding and sterilization
Pet Passport in Practice
Have you ever wanted to
take your pet away on holiday? Tony and Kandy - took 'Trig' to Corfu - this is
We took our Springer 'Trig' on a six week trip via Dover/Calais (one of the designated ports for
the scheme) through France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. Firstly, this is
written on the assumption that you are well down the road with your passport
application have had the rabies jab and blood test results - six months
prior to travel, are up to date with annual jabs, have a microchip, and have
applied, and are in liaison with your regional DEFRA (old MAFF) office.
Test You need to ensure you have time to have
the rabies jab, 28 days later the blood test, and three weeks later the
result. If the first jab does not take (ours was ok), you need a booster,
and a second blood test. As the blood test lab fees are £62.52 its worth
delaying the booster, but ensure you have 6 months clear after the
successful blood test, before travel.
DEFRA Our Worcester office were very helpful indeed, and
confirmed each stage in writing for us. Basically, you need to ask
for, and return, the application form, which is quite detailed, and states
your intended route. You then need your passport document, and a
translated copy for each other country. They are sent to your vet a
week before travel, and he has to complete them all. Takes a good half
hour - at cost, plus brief examination that the dog is fit to travel.
dog We have a Mondeo and only 2 passengers.
With more, you would need to think carefully. It gets very hot in the boot
section under what is a glass roof (believe me, we brought 4 friends down
from Kassiopi to Agni with 1 in the boot!!) We arranged the car so Trig had
half the rear area behind the front passenger seat to himself. Covered in a
pet tarpaulin (but still the HAIRS!!), with his own window, and room to lie
right out. We could then put cases behind the driver with his bed on top
(and still have rear vision), and fill the boot, plus keep the parcel shelf
in. It kept him in the shade, with good access through the rear door for
Dover - We chose this as the fastest, shortest
route, unsure how he would fare, but it was excellent. On arrival at the
port check in, we were given out Pets Travel yellow paw sticker for the
passenger sun blind, and ushered round in a special lane. Trig was scanned,
and the number checked against his rabies blood test cert. Papers stamped,
and we then drove what was back out of the port so he could exercise. We
then came back in, to queue for the ferry, but he had to remain in the car
(as technically abroad then I guess). We had packed our valuables in hand
luggage, so we could leave the car windows all a couple of inches open, on
the car deck, (no access on voyage) and on arrival 45 minutes later, he was
snoozing quite unconcerned. Coming back there was a fair old chop, but he
was still fine.
Not stopped outward bound. On return a jovial Brit who commuted each day
met us in the passport lane, and checked the scan to the paperwork again,
sent us for a stroll, and then again, into the port and remain in the car.
In that cars park outside the cafι and duty-free, you can always have one
eye on the car, both ends. Apparently this route was popular for some 80
new European Crufts entrants, who passed through in their curlers, (the
Please? Only the British seem to care all
that work and cost just to go home!
route We took 6 nights down to Venice, and 2
back. We used the Ibis chain most of the time, one x Formula One, and one
Mercure in France. They all accepted dogs without question, and we were
quite surprised really. We just took his bed into our room. Some even said
he could come in the restaurant but we wanted SOME peace! Last, and first
thing, we would march him on a short lead off site, and Ibis are usually out
on the edge of towns, so lots of walks, some really nice. It took 4 tries
in Northern Italy around the lakes, and we had to upgrade in fact. Hotel
Golf in Lac di Iseo has dog rooms really nice, with a terrace overlooking
Anything fresh has a limited life.
Ferries Dogs free, can go on the promenade but
not in cabins. The main thing we learnt is that there is a camping on deck
facility where there is plenty of fresh air, natural light, power points
and 24 hour access all the camper vans and refrigerated lorries etc. and
many sleep there. We had booked a cabin, (very nice and no regrets), but
you cant then book camping on deck in advance as well - its at the
discretion of the loading officer. From Venice it was quite a to-do wait
till the end etc. but from Corfu, dhen pirazi! A few wistful parakelos
helped! There are 4 little blue wooden kennels in a row on the camping deck
with well savaged doors for the dog accommodation. Supposed to wear a
muzzle in public places too. Trig is a softy, and no-one asked for it, but
if yours is a bit testy, especially in strange surroundings it is probably
wise, and we did see some.
Most dogs stayed all
day tied to the prom deck railings and seemed very happy loads of fresh
air. And they could always return to the car if you fancied a dip in the
pool on the return (daylight) trip.
Those with campers
obviously slept there but Trig? Well the stewards serve dinner from
about 7 to 9 pm and breakfast from 7 to 7 am - - - - - - - - - - and he
is real quiet! 24 hours at sea is a long time You can stroll on the camper
deck and mooch (it seems) with loads of great smelling huge tyres Hint of
Warsaw Poland, Eau de Sweden, etc., and litter bins !
the heat - Trig is over 13, and on medication,
but he managed very well. We booked a private typical apartment last Sept.
at the back of Kassiopi, so we had instant access to countryside fewer
local dogs to meet, and a marble balcony, that was in deep shade from 12
noon onwards, with a breeze.
We didnt take Trig
out with us all day every day, as not fair to him or us, but at 8 am EVERY
DAY, he woke us for the 2/3 mile walk to Imerolia beach for an hours
swimming! We had the beach to ourselves, and it was a very happy time. A
short walk at about 6 pm, as still hot, and then another about 2 am before
bed! Friends have a lovely old boat The Acco if you know her, and we sailed
to Ericousa twice with different friends, and down to Kerasia for a day, and
Trig LOVED all that.
Best avoided on the whole either running loose or chained up they
didnt seem too friendly, and are not really trained to be, and you are a
stranger on their patch.
English tinned food and bix in all the supermarkets chum, pal etc., and
Trig had raw mince, and cooked chickens for treat.
Vet (or where ever) Started to dominate the
conversation, and was best got over with. Has to be no less than 24 and
no more than 48 hours before travel. We called into Verdun, and police
directed us to the local practice at about 5pm. It was open till 7, and
somewhat bemused, agreed to fit us in at the end of surgery. What we learnt
is that (some way from the ports) not all vets speak English !! and whilst
we can get by in French, the instructions down-loaded from the internet in
French for the vet, were VITAL. Even then, we had to reassure him another
blood test was not needed! He thinks our Government is crazy! Super
practice, several vets very busy. We said we would tell all the Brits to
come to him and he begged us not to !!!!!
Much easier than we thought. I had visions of
sleeping in the car in the odd lay-by cleaning up in the High Street,
fighting to the death with the local hounds but no it really was trouble
free, and LOVELY to have him with us. Cant wait to repeat. If you have
any queries, happy to help.
Tony, Kandy and Trig.
This is the French Ticks and Bugs form you will need for the vet on return
to the UK
Pets Helpline Tel: 0870 241