A photo of stray dogs sleeping in a coffee shop to shelter themselves from the cold is going viral due to the compassion displayed in the image.
It was uploaded by Efstratios Papanis, a 46-year-old assistant professor of sociology at the University of the Aegean on Lesbos island, off the coast of Greece.
Over the course of the past year, thousands of Syrian refugees have passed through Lesbos. Papanis has taken pictures around the island of life jackets and personal effects left by the refugees.
On Dec. 2 he uploaded the photo of the stray dogs to Facebook, taken at a coffee shop called Hott Spott café in the city of Mytilene. Every night, the café opens its doors at closing to let the dogs sleep inside and escape the cold.
Papanis said the same sort of kindness shown to the stray dogs should be shown to refugees:
This picture was taken at a coffee shop in the island of Lesvos, North Aegean Sea, Greece. The country has strict laws about animal protection, but culture and knowledge are the key factors for changing long-standing indifference, negligence, or maltreatment.
More than 700,000 refugees from Syria and other Middle East countries have entered Europe from this island this year, and solidarity toward humans and animals was remarkable.
The photo has since gone viral and has been shared by thousands of people all over the world. Many have also commented on the touching pic.
A server at the café told i100 that the dogs are frequent guests.
"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."
Papanis told BuzzFeed the overall message he wants people to take from the now viral photo is that love conquers all.