Cafe in Greece opens its doors so stray dogs can sleep
A CAFE on a Greek island is opening its doors each evening to let stray dogs from the local town shelter from the cold.
A picture of Hott Spott cafe on Lesbos, which was taken earlier this month, has been shared hundreds of thousands of times, with many people warmed by the kind gesture.
The cafe in Mytilene, the island's main port and capital city, closes to customers at 3 each morning, and in turn opens its doors to dogs to sleep in the warmth.
Antonis, a waiter at the cafe, told i100.co.uk that the project has been going on since the summer.
"In the city there are many dogs. When the bar closes each night, the dogs come and sleep here. We don't have a problem. From July, every night there is a dog on the couch," he said.
Lying just miles from the Turkish coast, the idyllic island of Lesbos has made international headlines for being at the centre of the international refugee crisis this year.
Antonis said while that has affected tourism, the island's main source of income, Hott Spott cafe has still maintained its popularity, in part because of its project with the dogs.
"Customers have no problems. It is a bit of a thing now - lots of people come with their cell phones.
"A television company in Athens called this morning. It wants to come here and make a programme about the dogs."
Earlier this year, Greek charities reported that there are over one million stray dogs in the country, largely owing to the debt crisis.
Eustratios Papanis, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of the Aegean who took the original photo on 2 December, explained to i100.co.uk that since the refugee crisis, there seems to have been a real shift in the way people are now treating others - including the island's stray dogs.
"The locals have increased levels of solidarity towards environmental and humanistic issues," Mr Papanis said.
"The new generation is more sensitive and well informed."