• Who We Are:

    Founders, Board of Directors & Local Leadership Team

    Our Board of Directors comprises individuals from around the globe and a wide variety of backgrounds - what we all have in common is a passion for saving animals and improving animal welfare on Karpathos

    Dr. Anna Katogirtis, DVM

    Founder and VP

    Dr. Anna Katogiritis (Άννα Κατωγυρίτη) is a Greek- American veterinarian who was born in Athens (Greece) and raised on Karpathos island for the first years of her life. It was while observing the lives of strays on Karpathos that she set her dream of becoming a veterinarian in motion. She studied veterinary medicine at the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (USA) after completing her bachelor's in Molecular Biology at the University of Crete (Greece). She has volunteered in numerous countries assisting both domestic and wild animals.


    Anna is the only Greek veterinarian who has collaborated with the renowned primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane Goodall, and as part of her collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute, she founded Dr. Goodall’s official office in Greece in 2016. Anna directed Jane Goodall’s R&S Greece pro bono and led Dr. Goodall’s successful tours in the country in 2016 and 2018.


    Anna initiated the process for the creation of Animal Welfare Karpathos in 2018 and led the founding of AWK in 2020.


    You can find out more about her work here: www.doctorannak.com

    Dr. Luisa Ricaldone

    Co-Founder & Treasurer

    Dr. Luisa Ricaldone holds a doctorate in Pharmacy in Milano and owns a pharmacy in Italy.

    After traveling all around the world she arrived in Karpathos for a vacation and she fell in love with the island.

    Close to being retired she decided to come to live here forever.

    She began taking care of animals in Karpathos starting in 2019. She assisted in giving food to street animals, fostering, promoting adoptions, and vet care
    seeing the bad situation of the street animals of the island.

    Haidee Pittas

    Co-Founder & Secretary

    Haidee is a passionate Greek-American animal activist from Arkasa, Karpathos.


    She was born in the USA and has lived most of her life in Greece.


    She holds a bachelor's degree in Communications, emphasizing in public relations, from the American College of Greece - DEREE.


    Haidee has been advocating for animals wherever she is, especially on the island of Karpathos, from a young age. She has been actively involved in the adoption process of many strays from Karpathos such as, covering for their medical expenses, finding their forever homes in Greece and abroad and making sure they are transported safely to their destination.

    Sophia Hiras-Micros MSW​

    Co-Founder & President

    Sophia is a Greek-American, who has been living in Athens since 1999. She received her Master's degree in social work from Columbia University.


    Through the years, she has worked in many settings as a social worker, including “The Health and Welfare Council of Bergen County”, various hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and nonprofit agencies. In Greece, she was the director of the social service department, for a United Nations program, at the “Greek Council for Refugees”. Sophia‘s free time was always dedicated to volunteer projects, fundraising, event coordinating, for various causes, which also included animal welfare. She is an active member in many organizations including the “American Women’s Organization of Greece”, “Make a Wish”, the “Womens Charity Group”, “Omonoia Attikis”, and the founder of the annual “Trunk or Treating” of Athens.


    Being of Karpathian descent, Sophia spent her summers on the island, often rescuing and fostering cats and dogs, something which she continues to do today, along with her two daughters and husband.

    Yvonne Deutch

    Trustee (2020- present)

    Born in Wales, Yvonne studied literature at the Universities of Exeter (BA) and at Kansas, Lawrence (MA). She has been a commissioning editor and author since the 1970s, specializing in non-fiction illustrated books.


    She has also authored a pop-up animals book for children called Animals Everywhere! As an annual summer visitor to Kárpathos for many years, she has been especially aware of the plight of the island’s strays, and is working with Animal Welfare Kárpathos to make life significantly better for them.

    Evangelia (Evie) Vlastos Moreno, Esq.

    Trustee (2020- present)

    Evie is a Greek-American attorney working in the United States where she has practiced for several years. Evie holds a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Pittsburgh, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, and completed studies both in the United States and in Italy.


    In her spare time, Evie has organized several fundraisers for charitable organizations and is devoted to her communities both in Pittsburgh and in Karpathos, and spends most summers in Aperi with her family.


    Evie’s commitment to animals began in Karpathos, when at a very young age she began fostering kittens and finding them forever homes. She has remained an animal rights advocate and continues to use her voice to assist the animals of Karpathos.

    Maria Pavlakos

    Treasurer and Local Board Member (2020- present)


    Maria is a Greek-American who was born and raised in the United States and has been living year-round on Karpathos island since 2001.She completed a vocational high school in the field of hairstyling while in the US, which was her passion. During her years spent in the United States she was always involved in volunteering programs such as the “Be an Angel” project; a program dedicated to visiting nursing homes where volunteers spend time with the elderly.


    She has always loved animals and loves to pamper them or nurse them to health. Among her many skills is a “knack for arts and crafts” as she often says.She makes wonderful cakes, accessories and various handmade decorations for birthdays, weddings and special occasions for her friends.


    Ever since returning from the United States, Maria has been keen on helping the stray cats and dogs of the island either by feeding, rescuing or fostering them.

    George Kourtis

    Local Officer- Board Member

  • Who We Are:

    Our Honorary Members

    Dr. Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, UN Messenger of Peace

    Honorary Board Member

    Dr. Jane Goodall is the famed primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace whose scientific discoveries in the 1960's redefined the human kind and the way we perceive animals.


    Dr. Jane Goodall founded the Jane Goodall Institute through which she has been able to promote the conservation of chimpanzees, a critically endangered species. In addition, she developed the free and international educational program Roots & Shoots, whose goal is to inspire kids and young people to take positive actions for animals, humans and the environment. The program is being implemented in over 60 countries (including Greece) and has over 200.000 young active members.


    Dr. Goodall has received many honours for her environmental and humanitarian work, as well as others. She was named a Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in an Investiture held in Buckingham Palace in 2004. In April 2002, Secretary-General Kofi Annan named Goodall a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Her other honours include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the French Legion of Honor, Medal of Tanzania, Japan's prestigious Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, the Gandhi-King Award for Nonviolence and the Spanish Prince of Asturias Awards, to name a few.


    In her 80's Dr. Jane Goodall continues to travel the world 300 days a year in an effort to bring hope in people's lives and inspire and empower all of us to improve our communities through positive projects. An avid animal advocate, she has brought significant legislative changes in many countries for the improvement of animal welfare.


    Dr. Goodall has visited Greece three times and has had two successful tours in 2016 and 2018. She has seen first hand the number of strays in all the locations where she traveled and has publicly encouraged the Greek government to take action for the improvement of animal welfare in the country.

    Alf B. Meier

    Honorary Board Member

    Alf was born in Germany, but considers himself a Global Citizen.


    Alf started as a veterinary assistant in the Animal Welfare Clinic of Animal Friends- Karpathos, from the founding of the association in 2002 until 2005.


    Following that, he became the Veterinary Services Supervisor for AWK from 2005 until 2016 when he moved to the US.


    His contributions to animal welfare on Karpathos island are too many to list, as he had a pivotal role in expanding the work of the Animal Welfare Clinic.


    He studied psychology and sciences at the Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and successfully completed his bachelor’s degree in special education through the EOI (Madrid, Spain).


    Following his studies, he held various positions such as: press photographer, art critic and writer.


    Alf currently lives in Iowa, USA with his wonderful wife Roberta Jacobson and all of the Karpathian dogs and cats that they rescued while on the island.

    Jeanny Hartog-Brinkman

    Honorary Board Member

    Jeanne is from the Netherlands and spent much of her life around animals. She lives in the Netherlands and worked for the Dutch Animal Protection Association for 12 years.


    She also worked for Stichting Dierenthuis, a large shelter in the Netherlands.


    Her and her family started visiting Karpathos in 1998. Starting in 2013, she has dedicated her spare time to rescuing stray Karpathian animals and finding forever homes in the Netherlands and other places throughout Europe!

    Vena Kamaratos

    Honorary Board Member


    Vena is a Greek-Australian who was born in Sydney, Australia, and currently resides in Pyles village of Karpathos.

    Her parents are both from Karpathos and used to own a family restaurant business in Australia from 1958 to end of 2014. Through the years, Vena spent long periods of time living on the island of Karpathos. She graduated the early grades of her schooling in Australia and later finished high school in Athens, Greece. She then continued her studies in Australia, where she received a Microcomputing Support Certificate and a Health Fitness and Sports Training Certificate at the Western Institute of TAFE Australia. When she came back to Greece she worked at the local Gym for the Municipality of Karpathos for several years, before she decided to focus her time on her family and more specifically her three beautiful daughters (triplets!).

    Ms. Kamaratos has always shown a demonstrated interest in helping her community from a very young age, no matter where she is in the world.


    Between 1987-1989 and 1997-2005 she served as the president of the Women’s club of Pyles. After moving to Karpathos permanently to care for her family and her beloved father, she was elected President of Pyles village. Through this position she fights daily for the rights of citizens (both animals and humans) of the village and represents them in meetings held at the municipality.

    Vena is not new to animal welfare concepts or actions. She was one of the very first members of the very first association for the protection of animals in Karpathos, which was formed in 2002. She participated actively in the selection of the name and the creation of promotional material. In addition, she has spent time trapping strays for the numerous sterilization campaigns that have happened over the years and has saved many newborn strays that were found abandoned in her path. Just last year alone she was able to trap 60 cats from Pyles, who were spayed/neutered through the municipality’s sterilization campaign program. A true animal advocate, Vena was nominated and elected to be part of the honorary board of AWK due to her exceptional work and consistent dedication to animal welfare throughout Karpathos.

  • Emeritus Board Members

    Alex Desmond

    Served as trustee and board member 2020-2021

    Alex is a Greek-American with a diversified professional background in Human Resources ( HR), Legal, Compliance, Operational Project Management, and Change Management.


    She completed her Bachelors Degree in Liberal Studies and Graduate Certification in Political Science at the University of South Florida.

    Since a young age, her passion has been animals, whether with her family in Arkasa, Karpathos or in Florida. She has helped fundraise for many philanthropic organizations and interned for the Sierra Club of Florida in St. Petersburg, FL and the Cetacean Research Institute in Athens, Greece while in college.


    Alex helped build and maintain the Animal Welfare Karpathos website and assisted with social media from 2019-2021.


    You can find out more about her work here: www.metronariston.me

  • Connect with Us

All Posts
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy
Thank you for visiting Animal Welfare Karpathos (AWK). We respect your privacy and are committed to protecting your personal information. The following Privacy Policy applies to information collected at www.animalwelfarekarpathos.comr, AWK-owned or operated online services and mobile apps (jointly “Sites”). By accessing and continuing to use the Sites you acknowledge that you have read and that you agree to the practices described herein.

How we protect your privacy
Personally-Identifiable Information (“Personal Information”)
AWK and AWK’s service providers only collect Personal Information when you voluntarily submit such information, for example by signing up for the AWK newsletter or to donate. Depending on the service you choose, the Personal Information collected may include your name, email address, address, phone number, payment details, organizational affiliation and similar information.
AWK uses the following tools to collect Personal Information, which are stored by AWK internally:
Strikingly, G-Suite products, Papaki.gr, PayPal and/or Stripe are used to store Personal Information voluntarily provided when visitors donate or sign-up for email on our Sites, in addition to the pathway through which the visitor accessed the sign-up or donation form.
AWK uses Google Analytics to provide more rigorous statistical analyses of data maintained internally by AWK in G-Suite.

Non-Personal Information
For each visitor to this website, our web servers may automatically recognize and collect information that does not identify you personally (“Non-Personal Information”), such as in-bound domain names, your computer’s IP address, the type of browser in use and pages viewed. This data tells us which pages our users visit and what information they volunteer, such as survey information and/or site registrations.
We use Google Analytics, which installs cookies on users’ browsers, to understand the performance of our Sites and content contained within including, but not limited to: number of visits and average time spent either to a single page or the entire site, number of pages viewed per session, or the sequence of pages visited. We may also customize site structure or navigation as well as certain web content based on these data as well as your browser type, bandwidth or other settings to optimize your site experience. Google Analytics also collects information about the devices that are used to access our site, including computer type (Windows or Macintosh), screen resolution, operating system and version, device manufacturer and model, language, and Internet browser type and version. Google uses these data to reports web trends.

We may also use cookies to record past activity on our Web Site in an effort to provide better and faster service upon your return visits to this Web Site, like suppressing a promotional lightbox after it has been closed by the user. We may also customize certain web content based on your browser type, screen dimensions, bandwidth or other settings to optimize your site experience.
We use third-party services that allow us to serve you advertisements while on participating Sites, based on information relating to your time on our site or similar types of sites, which is tracked through a unique cookie on your browser or tracking pixels.
We use Google Adwords to display text ads at the top of Google keyword searches. Anonymized information on specific keywords typed is provided.
We use YouTube to host video content on animalactionkarpathos.org. Analytics for this platform include aggregated and anonymized data on length and location of views, basic demographic details, and engagement rates.

Personal Information
Any Personal Information collected through our Sites is used for the purpose for which it was provided, for example:
•	to periodically alert you to AAK news and events,
•	to respond to inquiries,
•	to contact you about contests you entered through our Sites and to invite you to participate in new contests,
•	to customize your web experience or content you receive via email,
•	to encourage social sharing functionality.

For internal data analysis, for example to identify trends, determine effectiveness of past and current campaigns, enhance current online tools, and plan future digital strategies.
We do not share your Personal Information with any third parties without your consent, except under the following circumstances:
•	to AWK service providers for the purposes set forth above;
•	in response to a subpoena or when we are required to do so by law, for example, in response to a court order or other legal obligation;
•	in response to a law enforcement agency’s request;
•	to protect the security or confidentiality of our records;
•	in special cases when we have reason to believe that disclosing this information is necessary to identify, contact or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with our rights;

or in the event AWK goes through a reorganization (e.g., a merger into another organization), in which case you will be notified via a prominent notice on the website of any such transfer of your Personal Information.

Non-Personal Information
We may use Non-Personal Information for any purpose, unless restricted by applicable law. In some instances, we may combine Non-Personal Information with Personal Information. If we do, we will treat the combined information as Personal Information as long as it is combined.

Our Sites incorporate reasonable and appropriate safeguards using industry standard technology to heighten the security, accuracy and privacy of any Personal Information collected by AWK.
All online donation transactions are encrypted using the Secure Socket Layers (SSL) protocol. Such transactions are processed through PayPal or Stripe, a PCI DSS compliant gateway provider, and are not stored or processed on AWK's servers. PCI DSS is the payment card industry security requirement for entities that store, process or transmit cardholder data. PCI DSS Compliance gives consumers the confidence they need to know that organizations accepting donations are doing so in a verified, secure, and consistent fashion. Stripe received Level 1 PCI compliance - the highest level validation. These comprehensive standards are intended to help AWK proactively protect your account data — a responsibility we take very seriously. For more information visit Stripe.com.

Our Sites contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such websites.

You can control the type of information collected through our Sites, for example by not accepting cookies from AWK, by erasing all AWK cookies from your browser, or by not providing Personal Information when prompted. To opt out of cookies installed by Google Analytics, please see https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Your choice will impact your communications preferences, for example we will not be able to respond to inquiries when you do not share your email address with us.

If you wish to update your Personal Information with us or change your communications preferences or if you no longer wish to receive communications from us, please tell us so by email or written letter. Please include your exact name and contact details so that we can correctly remove you from our mailing list. We can be reached via email at animalactionkarpathos@gmail.com.

We recognize the importance of protecting the privacy of children on the web and will never collect or maintain information at our website from those we actually know are under 13 years old. No part of our website is directed at children under the age of 13, and we do not knowingly collect Personal Information from children under age 13. If we discover that a person under the age of 13 has provided us with any Personal Information, we will delete that information from our systems. We do not reply to information requests from children under the age of 13, if so identified. A parent or guardian must initiate any requests for information from children under the age of 13 on their behalf. We encourage parents to supervise children when they browse the internet.

It is our policy not to disclose any Personal Information we collect to third parties for direct marketing purposes under any circumstances. However, California Civil Code Section 1798.83 requires that all California residents be afforded the option to exercise their choice of whether Personal Information may be shared with third parties for direct marketing purposes or not, as well as to receive information specified in the statute if Personal Information is disclosed to third parties for direct marketing purposes. Accordingly, if you are a California resident and you wish to inform us whether you permit or refuse the sharing of your personal information with third parties for direct marketing purposes, or if you wish to request certain information if your personal information were to be disclosed to third parties for direct marketing purposes, please contact us as described in the section “Update Personal Information and Communications Preferences”.

Your Personal Information may be stored and processed in any country where we have facilities or service providers, and by using our Sites or by providing consent to us (where required by law), you agree to the transfer of information to countries outside of your country of residence, including to the United States, which may provide for different data protection rules than in your country.

We reserve the right to modify or supplement this policy at any time. If a material change to this policy is made, we will post a notice on the home page, and any changes to the policy will be posted on this page.

If you have any questions about our privacy statement or the practices of this site, please contact us via our Facebook page.

Effective Date: This privacy policy was last revised August 9, 2020. A registered non-for-profit in Karpathos, Greece | Tax ID #996802452