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Dogs looking for friends

IBAN NL62INGB0004011891 BIC / SWIFT-Code: INGBNL2A ING Bank-Amsterdam. ActieZwerfhonden Zonnemaire The Netherlands

Tatvan 2013


More Pictures ; a little party with the mayor because the operation instruments donated by StraydogsCampaign arrived

Reporting a breakthrough!!

It all started in 2010, at a congress in Izmir.

Murat Bekhan, vet of the SHKD, met Damla Sahin there, from the organization “A drop of life” from Bitlis. They got into a conversation and Damla asked Murat to organize an educational project at the primary school in her hometown Bitlis.

The educational project was a success, but Murat was saddened by the number of fertile stray dogs. Most of the inhabitants of Bitlis as well as the province practice the faith Safism, a stern movement within the Islam which considers dogs to be unclean creatures. The local vet was therefore not planning to touch dogs.

The StrayDogsCampaign foundation and Murat then decided to hold a neutering campaign, supported by volunteers of Damla’s organization and financially supported by the StrayDogsCampaign foundation. The goal of this campaign was to spay/neuter as many dogs as possible and at the same time train a vet in these techniques.

There were three campaigns in total and multiple vets were trained, but every time our team left there was a new reason why the vets could not spay/neuter anymore…until…

Damla received the news that the city of Tatvan, the largest city of the Bitlis province, was in need of a veterinary technician. She started a lobby in order to have Omer Artis, once working for the SHKD and now working at Sisli’s municipality, be appointed for the job. The lobby was effective and that’s when the ball got rolling!

Omer convinced the local vet of Tatvan about the profit gained by spaying/neutering the stray dogs. Furthermore Murat succeeded to convince one of the vets who was trained in Bitlis, that it was about time to put his newly acquired knowledge into practice. There are now surgeries being performed in Bitlis. And moreover, the vet of Bitlis has transferred his knowledge onto the vet of Tatvan. Of course this was an easy job, with the help of Omer!

As we speak people in Bitlis and Tatvan are finally working hard in solving the problems surrounding stray dogs, in a humane and structural way.

This seems to be more difficult in Tatvan; the municipality has provided a location where surgery can take place and where the dogs can be taken care of after surgery. However, the municipality has no money to equip a surgery room.

The municipality turned to StrayDogsCampaign asking help by donating this and that.

After careful consideration the Board has decided that this would be a beautiful way to celebrate World Spay Day!

We will be donating:

An operating table

A surgical light

A refrigerator, to store vaccines

A washing machine

A sterilization device, to sterilize surgical instruments

Surgical instruments

We are happy your support enables us to offer this kind of help: what can be considered more structural than helping municipalities in spaying/neutering their stray animals!

And, Omar is very happy working in Tatvan. We could not be more proud of him!

About Tatvan

Tatvan is the largest city in the province of Bitlis in Eastern Turkey.

The majority of the inhabitants are of Kurdish origin.

The major of Tatvan has empathy for animals and the stray dog population.

The shelter of Tatvan is being built as we speak. Due to the weather conditions the local vet and Omer are allowed to perform surgery and other treatment for ill animals in a municipal building.

The animals who are being spayed/neutered are stray dogs who will be placed back into their own territory after recovery.

In just two weeks time, 20 dogs and 2 cats were spayed/neutered.

At the moment they are also caring for two ill dogs and one ill cat.

Omer and the vet also travel to Bitlis one day a week to spay/neuter the stray animals there.

A thank you note from the Tatvan municipality




Turkish Republic Tatvan Municipality


Health Department


Animal Neutering and Rehabilitation Center


Dear Ms. Linda, on behalf of StrayDogsCampaign Foundation and as animal loving friends, you have been sensitive about our call for help and supplied us with the equipment below.  You have honored us by helping the most disadvantaged group in our city. Your foundation will be informed about work and developments in Tatvan.  The aim for the establishment of Animal Neutering and Rehabilitation Center is to secure that stray animals live in their natural habitat without harming anybody. We thank you in person and StrayDogsCampaign Foundation for your support for this aim to be realized with our kind regards,




Abdullah Ok


Mayor of Tatvan