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Dogs looking for friends

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

Tavsanli 2017



June 2017


The Turkish district of Tavsanli, 1.917,65 square kilometres and situated in the Kütahya province, counts 99.433 inhabitants.

The municipality is working on building a place of recovery for the animals there.

They hired 3 vets and asked Murat to come and check the place as well as train the vets. In the end, one of the three vets will be offered a job there.

We will be working together with HAYTAP for this campaign. They will contribute € 2.000,- and we, the StraydogsCampaign Foundation, will contribute € 5.000,-.

Ömer and Huseyin already visited the recovery centre to prepare the surgery room and check the areas for pre and after care.

Ömer, Huseyin and Ali will travel to Tavsanli on the 29th of June with the delivery van packed with necessities, in order to prepare for the campaign. They will also be giving the approx. 200 dogs, caught by the local dogcatchers, a check-up.

Necdet and Murat will follow them by airplane.

The neutering campaign will start on June 30th until the evening of July 2nd.

They were able to spay/neuter 187 dogs. Unfortunately two dogs died even before surgery and one died during surgery.


144 female dogs at € 27,50 each:      € 3.690

43 male dogs at € 25,- each:              € 1.075

Necdet, present for three days:          €   300

Huseyin, present for four days:         €   200

Ömer, present for four days:              €   200

Fuel for the van etc.:                          €   325

Ticket for Ömer:                                €   220

Total costs:                                        € 6.010

Haytap will pay € 1.875,- and the StraydogsCampaign Foundation will pay for the rest.


Gender:                       144 female dogs and 43 male dogs

Age:                            151 dogs younger than 1

27 dogs from 1 to 3 years of age

9 dogs older than 3

With young:               0 dogs

Corrective surgery:    0 dogs needed a corrective surgery due to earlier failed surgeries (such as ovaries which were left behind, or only a partial removal of the uterus).


Most dogs were healthy enough to undergo surgery. 9 of the dogs were suffering from mange. 1 dog had a tumour and we had to put her to sleep. 12 dogs were not fit enough for surgery. 4 female dogs just gave birth to a litter, so we could not spay them. They need all their strength to feed their pups, so they themselves or their pups are at risk of starvation if we did spay them. We did not found any parvo or distemper. And there were no handicapped animals.

A married couple brought in their cat, which was helped as well. They heard that the campaign was actually organised for the dogs, but they were so friendly that we could not refuse.

We also managed to train no less than 7 vets and the municipality asked us to point out the best three vets amongst them, so they could decide which one to employ. Actually all seven vets were capable enough but the vet has to be a man when working in a local shelter, and that being said, only one can be the absolute best.

The number of dogs living in Tavsanli is about 1000-1200. This population will not be affected by neutering/spaying just 187 dogs.


Murat Bekhan being interviewed by a Turkish newspaper:

The municipality of Tavşanli truly takes account of the wellbeing of their stray animals, considering the highly modern shelter they built. Initiated by 3 animal welfare organizations, the medical team, under the leadership of Murat Bekhan, will be performing surgeries until Monday to spay/neuter stray animals as well as vaccinate them.

The animal shelter is one of the most important projects of this municipality and its doors are now also open for stray animals. A team of professional vets will spay/neuter and vaccinate stray animals in this modern constructed building. Pet owners are also welcome to bring their pet(s) in for surgery.

A medial team of 5, coming from Istanbul and under the leadership of Murat Bekhan, will accompany the vets from Tavşanlı. This project also offers some young vets the opportunity to gain (more) experience. Murat Bekhan from the S.H.K.D. foundation, who is highly experienced in spaying/neutering animals, will train these vets in performing the so-called key-hole-technique (this technique is the least aggravating method of spaying, and has a low risk of complications).

Murat Bekhan estimates that they will be spaying/neutering about 200 animals in Tavşanlı. He also states that, together with 3 animal welfare organizations, they will be organizing free neutering campaigns all over Turkey. The biggest sponsor for these projects is the StraydogsCampaign Foundation. As Bekhan said “We are here in Tavşanlı to carry out the ‘Neuter-Vaccinate-Place back and let live’ project together with the Federation of Animal Rights (HAYTAP), the S.H.K.D. and the Dutch StraydogsCampaign Foundation. Besides, we will be training 5 young vets from Tavşanlı so that they can also learn to perform the key-hole-technique. We have already successfully performed such surgeries in many cities, like Izmir, Gebze, Bitlis and Lüleburgaz. After we spay/neuter these animals they will also be vaccinated, mostly against rabies. We all work as volunteers within these projects. Therefore and on behalf of our whole team, I would really like to thank mayor Mustafa Gülner, director of Environment Protection Hasan Hüsseyin Akkaya and the hospitable inhabitants of Tavşanlı for all their support.”

According to Murat Bekhan, these kinds of projects could be carried out on a much larger scale with the help of municipalities and the private sector. They could, for example, donate medical instruments. Murat continues “I am a big fan of the shelter built in Tavşanlı: a beautiful facility complimenting the area. To be completely honest, we invested more in hard work than in funds. I would therefore also like to congratulate everyone involved in this project and construction on the results!”

To make the Tavşanlı campaign a successful one, we need a lot of funds! Which animal friend or foundation/fund is able to help us? We really want to make sure all (approx. 1200) dogs are spayed/neutered and will not be happy to settle for only half of the population. Although we need thousands to reach our goal, every euro helps! We really want to continue in helping the municipality and their dogs, but only have the funds to help approximately another 400 dogs. Unlike other Turkish municipalities, the municipality of Tavşanlı cares for their stray animals and tries to cooperate the best they can. But, as you can read in the article on the website, this is not an easy task for the municipality and they simply also do not have enough money. Who would be able to help out? Maybe, in return for some free publicity, a company is willing to make a “feel-good” donation?