Saturday, January 1, 2011

BEING A STRAY IN POMPEII


When I was doing my in-depth research on Ancient Roman dogs, I learned something very interesting about the city of Pompeii, which is near Naples in Italy.  And what I learned was that Pompeii has a problem with stray dogs.  Of course, lots of cities have problems with stray dogs, but Pompeii is not just any city.  And that is because a long, long time ago, back in August of 79 A.D., a volcano called Mt. Vesuvius blew up, and all the people who were in Pompeii got killed, and the whole town was buried in ash and other nasty volcanic stuff.  Then after that, everybody forgot that the town even existed until 1599, when it got discovered by accident.

So ever since then, the archeologists have been digging the town out of the ashes, and they are still not finished doing this, but a lot of the town is dug out so that you can see how the Ancient Romans used to live.  And tons of tourists visit Pompeii every year because it is such an interesting place.

One thing that makes this town so interesting is that there are lots of stray dogs around.  Nobody knows where they come from, exactly, but maybe people who don't want their dogs anymore dump them there.  Anyway, the tourists feel sorry for the dogs and give them bites of their sandwiches or pizza so they won't starve to death.

Nero
Oh, and guess what!  There is even a novel about one of these dogs, and it's called The Dogs of Pompeii.  It was only just published in the middle of December, 2010, so it's pretty new.  I have not read this book, but it is supposed to be good, and it's about an American girl named Caroline who is in Pompeii helping her uncle, who is an archeologist.  And there's a black-and-white dog named Nero who helps them fight bad guys and save the ruins and also save the dogs, and he does all sorts of other heroic stuff like that.  Which is the kind of thing you would expect from a black-and-white dog because they are they best kind of dogs, as I have told you before.







Odone
But getting back to the real dogs of Pompeii, there were some problems with them because they were hungry and sickly, and they used to get in fights over food or over girl dogs or over territory.  And they would hang out in packs, which made people nervous.  So in November of 2009, the Emergency Commissioner of Pompeii told everybody that a new program was being started to take better care of the 50 or so dogs that lived there.




And what happened with this program was that the dogs were spayed or neutered, and they were also treated for diseases.  Then they got microchips and red collars to show that they were part of the program.  And all the dogs were fed at least once a day.

After that, the dogs could still hang out in the ruins, but they were not so skinny anymore, plus they all got names that were names of actual people who used to live in Pompeii before the volcano thing happened.  And best of all, the dogs were all available for adoption by anybody who could give a Pompeiian dog a good home.

Plautus
Anyway, during the first six months of the program, 22 dogs got adopted, which is quite a few.  But of course, new dogs are always showing up.  There's a group in Italy called the Antivivisection League, and they think that about 135,000 animals are abandoned in Italy every year, and that the total number of homeless animals is something like 3 million.  There are more homeless cats than homeless dogs, but it's not nice being homeless, whether you are a cat or a dog.  And in Italy, a lot of people do not get their animals spayed or neutered or microchipped, so this makes the problem worse.






But like I said, if you want to adopt a dog from Pompeii, you can do that.  You can look at the available dogs by going to this website.  I'm sure the dogs from Pompeii would be happy to come and live in America, but in my opinion, it would be a lot of trouble to fill out all the forms and figure out how to get one of those dogs all the way over here to this country.  And it also seems a little silly to go to all that bother when you could just go to your local shelter and adopt a dog there.

16 comments:

  1. I like this one a lot!
    AUNT lYNN

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  2. Dear Aunt Lynn,
    I'm glad you like this entry. I had fun learning about the dogs in Pompeii, and I hope they all get good homes!
    Your friend, Piper

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  3. You do realize that these horrible, souless people are only just that...people. They're not above being killed!

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  4. Replies
    1. me too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    2. Me threee!!!!

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  5. I have 3 dogs, they are my babys i call then babus, ;) I adopt them since they were baby's, for me and my partner they are leaving creatures just like us, I cant believe people just leave them on the street, thanks for you article,;) I would love to know more to help,;)

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    1. I take in stray cats.
      There are a million stray cats in Venice and 4 million pigeons.
      Have they ever heard of spaying and neutering?

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  6. I enjoyed reading this article, and I'm surprised spaying and neutering isn't as common in Italy. I hope I can adopt a pet someday!

    By the way, the link to the Pompeiian website doesn't work. :(

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed my blog entry. Thank you for telling me the link to the adoption site for dogs from Pompeii wasn't working. I found a new URL and fixed the link, so now you can look at the dogs that are available. Of course, there are lots of nice dogs in the US that need homes, too. I hope you can adopt a pet one day soon.
      Sincerely,
      Piper

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  7. I have just returned from Italy where I spent 8 days in Pompeii. It is very true that there are hundreds of stay dogs living in Pompeii. It is also true that the town's vets care for these dogs. They are examined regularly by vets and cared for. The dogs look well fed, and healthy

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    1. I am very glad to know that these dogs really are being taken care of. I was a stray dog years ago in Houston, TX, and I know that it is not a fun way to live.
      Piper

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