The Greek economic crisis of 2015 devastated countless of people. However, people were not the only ones affected by this tragedy. Even dogs, loyal and loving members of a myriad of households around the world, were shaken by this. Many unfortunate families had to leave their best friends to fend for themselves in the cold Greek winter streets after they decided they could not afford to take care of their pets anymore. It’s hard to imagine what these families have gone through; while many have lost their homes, money, and businesses, just as much have lost their beloved canine companions.

To add to this disheartening truth, Greek charities have said that over a million dogs have been left displaced and this is chiefly credited to the economic crisis. Since I’m the type of person who’s more likely to bawl over a dog’s demise in a movie over a person’s, it’s hard not to feel forlorn in light of this news.

Luckily in the Greek island of Lesbos in the capital of Mytilene, a café named Hott Spott has literally provided a “hot spot” for all the ill-fated stray dogs to stay in whenever the nights get too chilly, according to Huffington Post. Every night before the café closes, they open their doors for the dogs to come in and snuggle in their comfy couches. Thanks to Hott Spott, many dogs have found refuge from their “ruff” nights.

This act of benevolence soon circulated the internet and in the blink of an eye, received worldwide recognition. This surge of popularity helped bring in tourists to Lesbos, aiding their tourism-focused economy despite being at the center of the international refugee crisis.

But what started the café’s outburst of popularity was because of a photo-gone-viral taken by Eustratios Papanis, an assistant professor of Sociology in the University of the Aegean on Lesbos. What the picture showed was a number of stray dogs adorably snuggled on the couches of Hott Spott during closing hours. According to Papanis, he says that since the refugee crisis there has been a drastic change in the way people treat each other- including stray dogs.

Last year had truly been a difficult year for man and his best friend. Yet, thanks to café Hott Spott  and people like Efstratios Papanis, our fellow men and women will soon find homes to live in and dogs to live with.

[Featured image from George Chelebiev/Flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0, resized and cropped]