Dog found alive after hiding in oven to escape Greece wildfires
After a wildfire in Greece killed dozens, rescuers made a heartwarming discovery.
Artemis Kyriakopoulou told The Associated Press that she was going through the village of Mati on July 25, two days after a fast-moving blaze killed around 90 people, when she happened upon a dog cowering within an outdoor brick oven.
A just-released video obtained by The Associated Press shows the dog, covered in overgrown fur, as he hides inside the brick structure. Then Kyriakopoulou uses food to convince the scared pup to come outside for a snack and something to drink.
It isn’t long until white poodle mix is vigorously wagging his tail in joy.
But the dog, with matted fur, showed obvious affects from the fire, said Diana Topali, who temporarily fostered the dog, reported Reuters.
“Even its eyelashes are burned,” she told Reuters. “I wonder how this dog survived.”
Reuters reported that hundreds of animals likely died from the fire.
In her interview with The Greek City Times, Kyriakopoulou said she looked inside the oven because she “figured if anything were alive, it would be in there.”
“It’s so sad because we haven’t been able to find an owner,” she said, according to The Greek City Times. “Unfortunately, the owner may have died in the fire.”
But Elena Dede, president and founder of Dogs’ Voice, told ABC News it’s clear that the dog was a stray long before wildfires ravaged the area.
“When he came to us, he was a little bit aggressive because he was very afraid of people,” she told ABC. “From the way he protected himself and the state of his health, we realized he has spent a long time being severely abused. There were three layers of dead fur on him, which could not have happened in just the week since the fire.”
Now, that dog has a (temporary) name: Loukoumaki, which is a type of sweet, according to The Associated Press. He’s believed to be about four years old and has been treated with antibiotics.
He has a new home, too.
Dede told ABC News that a woman Antonia Paraschou signed adoption papers for the dog on Thursday, and that she has worked with other stray dogs in the past.
But as the dog settles into his new life — including a much-needed groom — Kyriakopoulou told The Greek City Times that her work is not yet done.
“I am soon heading back to Mati,” she said, “to look for more animals that might have survived.”