A new program in Greece will require at least one police officer in all police departments to receive training in animal cruelty and animal abuse.

The program, which kicked off in May, aims to train officers to spot the signs of cruelty across all animal types — including stray animals, companion animals, exotic species, animals forced to work, and animals who are hunted, according to news reports.

The Zero Stray Pawject and the Zero Stray Academy, an online academy whose mission is to achieve zero stray dogs and cats and improve animals’ quality of life in Greece, are leading the training, in collaboration with the police department.

Citizen Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos reported 705 cases of animal cruelty in the first four months of this year — showing a critical need for this training.

Theodorikakos also reported officers were taking the reports seriously, with 138 arrests and more than 600 issued fines totaling 3,317,800 euros (or about USD $3.6 million).

Lady Freethinker applauds Greece for recognizing that these horrific and intentional acts need to be taken seriously and that police officers, on the front lines, can make a true difference! 

We’re also grateful to all the caring police officers out there — abroad or here in the United States — who stand up and speak up for animals!

To check out another heartwarming story about an organization stepping up to help animals and officers in Greece, you can check out our story about Voice for the Animals here.