Cafe turns into a shelter for stray dogs every night after closing

We all wish that every animal could find a good home to take care of them, but that just isn’t the case. Many animals are strays, living on the streets and relying on scraps of food to get by.

But luckily, some communities come together to take care of their local street dogs—and one neighborhood in Greece found a particularly smart way to make sure the strays had a place to stay the night.

Greece has a a huge amount of stray dogs: local animal charities estimate that there are one million in the country, many of them abandoned by their owners, a phenomenon that’s been credited to the country’s debt crisis.

It’s too many for all the nation’s animal lovers to care for, but they’ve developed a culture of looking out for the street dogs.

“Here in Greece our homes are not large enough for all of us to house animals,” Athens resident Bill McMillian told Life With Dogs. “That’s why we 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.”

That spirit is best represented by how one cafe stepped up to help their local dog population. In the summer of 2015, Hott Spott, a cafe on the island of Lesbos, started opening their doors after hours to let dogs come in and stay the night.

“When the bar closes each night, the dogs come and sleep here,” a cafe waiter named Antonis told indy100. “We don’t have a problem. From July, every night there is a dog on the couch.”

A photo of the homeless dogs cuddled up on the restaurant’s couches went viral on Facebook, being shared over 2,000 times:

You might think that hosting so many dogs would be a concern or deter business—but the restaurant found the opposite to be the case, with business booming with word of mouth.

“Customers have no problems,” Antonis said. “It is a bit of a thing now – lots of people come with their cell phones.”

It’s a great example of people finding a creative way to help the animal population when shelters and foster care aren’t enough. We’d love to see more stories like this!

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