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

Ayvalik 2013/2014/2015

Rapportage on Ayvalik all the figures, facts and backgrounds

Pictures from Ayvalik

Ayvalik flyer

Ayvalik Campaign

update January 2016 scroll down

 In 2013, 2014, 2015 we neutered   1274 Cunda cat, 163 Cunda dog and 1752 Ayvalik dogs.


Ayvalik is a city on the other side of the bridge that connects Cunda with the Mainland.

When our Turkish team was neutering the stray animals in Cunda they were asked to also come and neuter the stray dogs in Ayvalik.

In Ayvalik shelter some 75 dogs were waiting to be neutered and released.

After the last deember spay marathon in Cunda our team went on to Ayvalik and neutered these 75 dogs and about 25 roaming dogs.

There are still about 1200 stray dogs in Ayvalik and surroundings (in a circle of 15 km from the centre of the city).

The StraydogsCampaign Foundation commits to spaying/neutering these animals this year. A huge project for which we can use all possible funds.

Together with Cunda, this will proof that catch-neuter-release does work and will put an end to the overpopulation of stray dogs. It has already been proven and applied in many countries. We now want to proof to the Turkish government and inhabitants that this will also work in Turkey.

Killing strays, locking them up or dumping them has to stop! The first neutering campaign will be held in March.

Considering the time we need to catch the animals and take care of them after surgery, we think to be able to spay/neuter 100 female dogs and 50 male dogs on each visit.

This means that we will organize a neutering campaign every month for a period of 8 months.

During the year of these campaigns, we will have to hire an employee to manage the shelter, capture of the dogs and aftercare. This employee will also direct the educational project at primary schools in Ayvalik and Cunda.

The costs are estimated to be 40.000 euro.

Only a small amount of people donate funds for neutering. Most people expect to see a direct result of their donation; starving dogs being fed, sick animals being treated. Few people realise that by spaying/neutering hunger and illness is being prevented. Spaying/neutering is therefore THE solution and prevents a lot of animal suffering.

Report Cunda and Ayvalik March 2014

Exactly 123 cats were spayed/neutered on Cunda. Many of these cats were in the early stage of pregnancy. All animals are doing fine and were released in the area they were found.

On March 16, 17 and 18 a total of 150 dogs were spayed/neutered in Ayvalik; 103 female dogs and 47 male dogs. A large part of the female dogs were also pregnant. Spaying pregnant dogs takes more time and so Murat called in an extra vet to help him.

30 of the dogs are about 4 months of age. These animals will be taken care of for one month to regain their strength and will then be released in the area they were found. 33 dogs were brought in and picked up again by inhabitants of Ayvalik. The remaining dogs were all found in a circle of 3 kilometre from the centre of Ayvalik and will be released again in a few days. The dogs are now staying in the shelter of Ayvalik, with Gulnihal watching over them.

The shelter also took in a mother with her pups. Without vaccinations and food the pups have no chance of survival and would have to suffer. They and their mother are being taken care of in the shelter and, when the time is right, will be released where they were found.

A huge and hopeful result of only a few days hard work. Please, keep supporting us as we really need funds to help all dogs in Ayvalik and all cats on Cunda and thereby set an example for the whole of Turkey!


April 9th 2014

The first dogs for the neutering campaign starting on April 12th are being caught. They will stay in the shelter until they are recovered a few days after neutering. Then the will be returned to their territorium. Of course all dogs are besides being neutered, also vaccinated against rabiës.

April 13th 2014

I just got a message from Murat; today 23 cats from Cunda and 55 dogs from Ayvalik were neutered.Most bitches were pregnant. Will be continued tomorrow

April 14th 2014

I told you our team is terrific! Today they neutered 27 cat from Cunda and 70 dogs from Ayvalik. Sadly enough one of the dogs died after surgery and 2 dogs were very ill and had to be euthanized.


Just spoke to Murat; the remaining 25 dogs in this round have been spayed/neutered.
In 2.5 days time we were able to help 150 dogs from Ayvalik and 50 cats from Cunda.

All dogs who were easy to catch have been spayed/neutered now. We will now have to catch the shy dogs. This will be hard work, especially as there are no experienced dog catchers in Ayvalik. We did ask Robert Smith (FPCC Romania) if it would be possible to come and help with his experienced catchers.

A producer of animal medicine is helping us by placing Ketamine and anesthesia at our disposal for a low price.

The living conditions in the local shelter of Ayvalik are not good. There are 487 dogs and they are not in the best of health. With the help of a donation from Robert Smith, we were able to appoint a highly professional and experienced para-veterinary for the period of 5 months, who will care for the dogs and improve their health.

Like in most cities in Turkey, the care takers here are also employees of the municipality; not quite motivated to handle and care for animals in the best way. Gulnihal is really busy coordinating catching and caring for the dogs and placing them back.

As there are many pregnant dogs in Ayvalik, we would like to return as soon as possible to spay dogs in the beginning of the pregnancy and prevent pregnancy for others. Money is the keyword…please HELP US.

Until now, we spayed/neutered 400 dogs in Ayvalik!

Update may 5th

Yesterday 63 dogs were neutered

Today another 83 dogs were neutered! De planned number of 150 has been reached, tomorrow morning some more dogs will be neutered. The afternoon Murat will spend on training certain skills of the vet technician in the shelter that are especially important for this place and these dogs. The Ayvaik mayor visited our team and was very positive!

Update June 4 2014

The team of dog catchers worked very hard for the last few days and were able to catch 160 dogs. They had to start catching early in the morning because of the heat during the day. When the temperature reaches the highest point, the dogs hide away and cannot be found. They come out of hiding at the end of the afternoon and beginning of the evening, and so the catchers can resume their work.

There are new pictures in our photo album.

Murat and his team managed to spay/neuter 179 dogs on June 2, 3 and 4; a huge accomplishment!

Everything is going smoothly, but we still need a lot of money to spay/neuter all the dogs of Ayvalik.


Update September 20, 2014

Murat and his team will travel to Ayvalik again on September 20st. They will start spaying/neutering as from September 21st. The plan is to spay/neuter 150 dogs from Ayvalik and 150 cats from Cunda.

Total this month sofar 150 Cunda cat 151 Ayvalik dog


The September campaign in Ayvalik resulted in 166 spayed/neutered dogs and besides the dogs 158 cats from Cunda. Gulnihal has done an outstanding job! As well as helping in catching the dogs, she caught the cats practically by herself. This deserves respect!

Unfortunately one dog died shortly after surgery.

With two dogs, Murat also had to amputate a leg; dogs are more happy living with 3 legs as opposed to 4 legs of which one is injured or hurts.

There are about ten handicapped dogs. As time goes by, we will see what we can do for these dogs.


November 2014


On November 8 Murat and Necdet arrived in Ayvalik.

Together with the local vet Seher, they managed to spay/neuter 73 dogs on November 9.

Huseyin, Gulnihal, Yilmaz and (really great) Murat’s mother assisted them.

Yesterday I witnessed some surgeries through Skype; it is great to see how calm and focussed everyone works, in spite of the large number of dogs. Unimaginable how such a procedure can be performed through such a small incision and the doctors know exactly where the ovaries and uterus are without looking into the abdomen. Using this “key hole technique” makes it a lot easier on the dogs and reduces the risk of infection.

During this part of the campaign a vet from Erdek will be trained as well.


I just paid another visit to Ayvalik through Skype. Touching to see the love and care that surrounds the dogs. The dogs are brought into the operating room where they are numbed. While the dogs fall asleep they are being caressed and put at ease. They are then fit with an earmark (to identify the animal as spayed/neutered), a tattoo (extra identification), their eyes are dripped (to prevent the eyes from drying out during surgery), they receive vaccination against rabies and an antibiotics injection. The operation area gets shaved and rubbed in with iodine. After all of this, the actual surgery takes place and they receive a long-acting painkiller. Finally, they are brought to the shelter where they will stay a few days until they are fully recovered.


During the November part of the campaign we managed to spay/neuter 152 dogs from Ayvalik and 7 cats from Cunda.

Now focussing and working on gathering funds for the December part of the campaign, every euro is more than welcome!

We could be able to finish spaying/neutering all dogs from Ayvalik in December. After that, we only need to control the population; a vet will then travel to Ayvalik twice a year to spay/neuter young and newly dumped dogs together with the local vet.

We will be travelling to Ayvalik on December 22nd for the last neutering campaign for now. That means, on the condition that we can gather the last 1000 euro needed.


After that, we will be travelling to Ayvalik and Cunda twice a year in order to control the population of stray dogs (and on Cunda also stray cats).


We would love to be able to enlarge the area of spayed/neutered dogs. As you know, the population of strays will decrease in areas where all dogs have been spayed/neutered. With this, the suffering of those animals will also reduce. Unfortunately, we are currently out of funds. We will however keep on fighting and will try to raise funds any way possible, also from you!


One way to support our work is to purchase (one of) our Christmas Cards. Folded cards, delivered with envelopes.


On December 21, 22 and 23 157 dogs from Ayvalik were spayed/neutered.

This brings the total for 2014 to an admirable 1206 spayed/neutered dogs in Ayvalik. With this number, we have reached our goal for 2014.

I would like to thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your donation(s) and help in reaching this goal!

Time to keep on moving.

There is a large garbage dump in Ayvalik where about 200 dogs live on a daily base. Dogs who cannot find food come to this garbage dump trying to find something to eat. Life there is rough; a lot of fighting, many litters, a lot of suffering due to rotten/poisoned food. These dogs are very shy and cannot be caught by hand. We are now planning a new neutering campaign in January, to spay/neuter these 200 dogs. This campaign is partially funded by donations of Turkish animal friends. We will hire a specially equipped and trained team who will catch the dogs using blow-pipes.

Once all dogs are spayed/neutered, there will be less fighting, no more starving ill pups and no more mother dogs using their last reserves to feed their pups. The welfare of all 200 dogs will dramatically improve.

We will also organize another neutering campaign in March. In order to control the population, we will then spay/neuter 150 cats from Cunda and 150 dogs from Ayvalik. We will treat the animals who were dumped since the last campaign and animals who were too young at the time.

We would really love to enlarge the area of spayed/neutered dogs to a circle of 20 km from the centre of Ayvalik (instead of the 15 km circle). One of our goals for 2015 will be gathering the funds necessary for this.


The StraydogsCampaign Foundation will also keep on fighting in 2015 for the wellfare of dogs. January 24 Murat and his team will leave for Ayavlik again to start neutering/spaying 200 dogs that live on the garbage dump on the 25th. A team of trained dogcatchers will travel ahead in order to catch these extremely shy dogs. They will be assisted by a group of Syrian and Kurdish refugees who also live on the dump site. They will receive a small reimbursement for this, which will make their lives a bit more bearable for now. This campaign will cost around 6000 euro. However, a Turkish animal friend has donated 4000 euro! We are looking for your support to gather the last 2000 euro! The end is near; after this campaign we only have to travel to Ayvalik twice a year to spay/neuter newly dumped dogs or dogs which were left out earlier.

IBAN NL62INGB0004011891 on behalf of ActieZwerfhonden stating “Ayvalik” SWIFT-Code: INGBNL2A ING Bank-Amsterdam


What an operation… We managed to neuter/spay 201 dogs from the garbage dump in Ayvaik as well as 65 cats from Cunda! Even though cats from Cunda are still brought in for surgery, when visiting this peninsula these days you can really tell that there are less stray cats.


In January 2015 we have spayed/neutered 207 dogs living on the garbage dump in Ayvalik. All very shy dogs, so we had to hire a specialised team of dogcatchers who were able to catch the dogs using a blow-pipe (anaesthesia).

Dogs are naturally attracted to the garbage dump due to the endless supply of food. So many dogs living in such a small area causes fights and, thus, the dogs suffer from injuries. Besides, animal diseases are easily spread because of this high number of dogs packed together. Many dogs also get sick by eating spoiled or poisoned food.



The municipality vet be  spaying/neutering dogs on Wednesday. This means all the hard work, such as discussions and training, finally has an impact. It could take months and maybe even years, but eventually the municipality will take over and continue our work.

In the meantime, Gulnihal has made arrangements with multiple schools for giving lectures on animal rights, animal welfare, problems surrounding stray animals and so on.

February 26th 2015  Ataturk Anadolu Lisesi

March 11th 2015 Ayvalik Imam Hatip Lisesi

March 23rd and April 3rd 2015 Ayvalik Endustri Meslek Lisesi

March 25.

The March neutering round, to control the population of stray animals, is over: 154 dogs from Ayvalik/Cunda and 152 cats from Cunda were spayed/neutered. Again, great results!

At the moment the number/percentage of infertile stray dogs in Ayvalik reached the level that the population of strays will now decrease in a natural way. The March campaign was a so-called “maintenance campaign” in order to control the population. Past experiences show we should go back for another “maintenance campaign” in September of this year. The difficulty is, Ayvalik is a holiday resort; at the end of May thousands of Turkish recreationists will come to Ayvalik to spend their summer and a large part of them brings along their dog(s).  Many of these fertile dogs will roam the streets in the summer, only to be left behind in September whether carrying pups or not.

During the March campaign we already had to spay some pregnant dogs. This is a difficult task for the vet. Although his mind tells him that the mother has better chances of survival without a litter of pups and pups who are being born face a hard and probably short life, vets do have feelings. They want what is best for the animals and would prefer to offer all animals a long and carefree life.

Therefore we intent to go back to Ayvalik in May, if we can gather enough funds. On the one hand to spay/neuter all fertile dogs left, on the other hand to spay/neuter as many of the dogs brought to Ayvalik during the first weeks of summer. Even though the guidelines of CNR (catch, neuter and return) state that only two “maintenance campaigns” a year are necessary (March and September), we are planning three campaigns for this year.


May 24

In two days time our team neutered 137 dogs and 6 cats. Besides that the the team did some amputations; These dogs will feel much better now the cause of their pain has been removed. one leg amputation, two tail amputations. From one dog an eye has been removed. One dog had surgery because of a hernia and from one dog a brest tumor was removed. The municipality vet didn’t show up to help……..i wonder what it is the municipality pays her salaries for. To be continued tomorrow.

A total of 151 dogs and 9 cats have been neutered during this trip.

update 6/2

To go or not to go…that’s the question

Will we be going back to Ayvalik at the beginning of June to spay/neuter another 150 dogs, or wouldn’t that be wise? Vet Murat visited the area together with an expert in dog catching; this man can see if a female dog has been spayed or not, only by looking at her body. There seem to be about 60 fertile female dogs left on the garbage dump. If we would not visit Ayvalik in June we expect about 200 pups will be born, only to suffer and die. On the other hand, the high temperatures in Ayvalik in June can increase the risk of infection after surgery.

Apart from that it is obvious that dogs are still being dumped in Ayvalik, probably by other municipalities who consider this to be a cheap way to get rid of their stray dogs. They just do not seem to understand the principal of capacity: the municipality will never be free from strays until the complete area is filled with unfertile dogs.


Nevertheless, we will continue to care for the wellbeing of the dogs in Ayvalik and are still determined to set this as an example for the rest of Turkey.

October 2015

We do not exactly know what is going on, but we received the news that the municipality of Ayvalik will not allow us to continue our neutering campaigns there. Several attempts to clarify failed. After November 15 our vet Murat will travel to Ayvalik and will try to clear up the issue. Crazy situation; finally we have the money to continue solving the problem, a vet willing and able to continue our work afterwards, and now we are forbidden to finish what we started >>>


January 2016

We are not sure what is going on, but we have heard that the municipality of Ayvalik will no longer allow us to spay/neuter their stray dogs. Numerous discussions did not bring any clarity. It is maddening; now that we finally have the money and a vet who can continue our work after we leave, we do not have permission to finish up our job. We are trying hard to find a solution which will allow us to end this project successfully. In the meantime, we are preparing another neutering campaign elsewhere.