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

E mail from SHKD

September 2016

SHKD Update-Summer 2016


We started the summer with deworming dogs for inner and outer parasites. Due to the location of the shelter in the woods, the flea problem is hard to solve by the flea drops we use. This year Stichting Animal Care Projects donated us flea collars for our dogs. It solved the problem to a considerable extend.

Aysen Bolukbas and her sister Gulsen visited our shelter this summer. They came to the shelter nearly every day for 20 days and worked full time to take care of our dogs. We are grateful to them. They also brought treats for our dogs from Holland. Their visit was like a feast for our dogs.  Aysen’s sister in law also visited our shelter with them and she fell in love with one of our old dogs. She named her Leyla and will be a friend of her. Leyla has serious demodex problem and also her teeth are in very bad condition. Bolukbas Family will bring us some new medication for her demodex and they wanted the teeth to be operated. Now our vet Murat is discussing with them about the necessity of a couple of long and risky operations. We do hope after the demodex treatment and the expensive teeth treatment (about 1600euro) the dog will be rehomed because she is such a lovey dog. All things counted it will be  very expensive to make her ready for rehoming and we do hope to find some money to help the bolukbas family with their pledge the made to Leyla.

There are about 40 dogs in the shelter suffering from demodex. We tried different treatments but nothing worked. The main factor with demodex ( a skin disease) is stress and in these demodex re feeling stress in the shelter we treat them, they are stressed again and the disease returns. Now Aysen Bolukbas has a new medicine she used for her own dog and we will give it a try. The treatment is very expensive and very much work so probably we will start with 5 dogs to see if it works and if it works some one should come for 2 months to treat all he demodex dogs.

We don’t do neutering projects in summer because of the weather.  At the moment we re investigating two possibilities for neutering campaigns but its difficult because f the chaos in Turkey right now. Antep and Kilis which we had visited last year for neutering project are almost in the war region now.

We are grateful to Actiezwerfhonden for donating us money to renew our shelter car which we use   for neutering projects and also to transfer our dogs.  The car will be delivered somewhere next week and we will send you pictures of it.

The fences that surround the partitions of our shelter were made more than 10 years ago. Mostly they are rotten and broken now. We are not able to use some of the partitions because of this. This year we made a partition over again with donation from Stichting Buitenlandse Asielen and some Turkish sponsors. Now we are going to change the fences of another partition with the donation from Actiezwerfhonden. After this we will be able to put our dogs in a larger partition which we couldn’t use because of the risk of them running out from the rotten parts.

September 2013

DSCN5489 DSCN5495

We had a very hot summer this year. We were lucky this time that the deworming we had done in Spring worked quite well and our dogs had less tick and flea problem compared to last  year. Those for whom the problem continued were bathed in a  water  with anti-parasite  solution which was  a radical remedy and a good way to cool up in hot days.

One of our dogs, Shekerim has died. We have some old ones being treated and operated. But the majority of our dogs are fine and healthy.

We rehomed two dogs  to  loving families in Holland and I flew with them.  I had a chance to visit one of our dogs rehomed one year ago. The story is in our blog: http://ehdkd.blogspot.com.  I also visited Linda and Nathalie and had a nice time with them enjoying  the sightseeing around your beautiful country.

We still have some new comers to the shelter.  The dog in the picture is one of the dogs that are dumped by municipalities out of the city. This is how they end up. We have started his treatment and special nutrition for him. I am hoping to send you beautiful pictures of him healthy and fit  in the next update.

We are lucky to have workers who are also animal lovers. Sinan and Sibel, teenager son and daughter of one of our workers passed their summer holiday at the shelter, helping with the daily routine and also playing with dogs. Our dogs enjoyed the company of youngsters.

With September the weather started to cool down.  We are hoping that  Fall will last long and winter will be short.

Octobre 2011

This year we had a hot and long summer in Istanbul.

Our main problem at the shelter was that of fleas. We used all brands of anti-flea treatment but couldn’t get rid of fleas. ActieZwerfhonden bought a new generation anti-flea medicine for us which helped us tackle with this problem. Thank God we had no ticks this summer.

WE are grateful to Emine Gonen from ActieZwerfhonden who nearly spent all her summer vacation in Istanbul at our shelter, visiting us every day and helping with the daily shelter routine.

The happiest news of the year is Jam being rehomed to a family in Germany. It is amazing how quickly and easily she got accustomed to live at a home after all those years she spent at the shelter.

The saddest news is that Dubby, Diana, Tilki and Plato passed away and Shekerim and Patience are ill. Their medical treatment continues.

The education season has begun. We are going to give our first seminar at Sezin School on Oct 11. This is a school which invites us every year to address to new students. WE are distributing our education booklet about street dogs to all student who attend our seminar. This year we will also give them small toys that ActieZwerfhonden has donated.

Our vets Murat Bekhan and Necdet Ugur are going to Bitlis again in October to neuter the dogs that are collected by the animal protection organization there.

Another summer passed with some dogs going behind the rainbow bridge and one, Jam having the chance to live in heaven in this earth. Now winter is coming and we hope it won’t be a long and cold one. We are grateful to all the families in Holland for sporting us. That is how we find the energy to continue.


June 2011

ActieZwerfhonden-SHKD project for training Municipality Vets in Other Cities:
SHKD team of Vet Necdet Ugur, Vet Murat Bekhan and Vet Technician Omer Atis visited city of Edincik in the Marmara region and neutered vaccinated and medically treated 143 dog. Total costs of the visit was sponsored by ActieZwerfhonden.
The SHKD team traveled to Bitlis in Eastern Turkey where they neutered 173 dogs and 3 cats. All animals that were neutered were also treated for parasites and vaccinated for rabies. Louis Vuitton, Four Paws and ActieZwerfhonden were co-sponsors of this project.

Spring Fest
On May 2011, we celebrated the Spring Fest at the shelter. Dog houses with the names of 12 celebrities that supported the “Kirmizi Kulube social responsibility project sported by the textile firm Cift Geyik Karaca, were put in their places. Cartoonist Erdil Yasaroglu, Film Director Mustafa Altioklar and Architect Derin Sariyer nailed their name tags on the dog houses. Eyup Mayor Ismail Kavuncu also attended the fest.
Children from Gulen Gunes Rehabilitation Center for handicapped children and Kasimpasa Child Protection Center colored the day with the pictures they made for the painting contest. Students from IICS community school for children of expatriate families also joined the fest.
The aim of this project is to build a model natural park where dogs that don’t have a chance to live in streets can live freely. We want to promote the concept of animal parks as an alternative to shelters where dogs are kept in prison and wish these parks to be recreational sites where families would visit in weekends.

Dogs of Friends Project
Dogs of Friends’ project are doing well. As spring came and weather is fine they are enjoying the sunshine.
We thank all the sponsors of ActieZwerfhonden that support us to look after the dogs at the shelter and make it possible for us to neuter dogs and train veterinaries in other cities where no neutering is done. With the help of ActieZwerfhonden we are trying to introduce neuter and release as the only humane way to control animal population.
Warm regards,
Bilge Okay/SHKD

April 2011


In the beginning of April, all dogs at the shelter went through a medical check up, their vaccines were repeated and all of them treated against outer parasites as the weather start to get warmer. Including those that are permanently at the shelter, a total of 280 dogs were medically treated in the last two months. The ones that are from the area outside the shelter or brought to the shelter just for treatment were released after they were well. A total of 153 dogs were neutered.
The weather was quite well in February and March, with only a few weeks of cold. Our dogs and most of the dogs in Friends’ project are fine. We lost Chain, he died of old age. Favour still has a skin problem (he will be brought to the clinic this week). Will is ill, but too old for treatment. He gets painkillers and will live as long as he is happy. Bozo was diagnosed with a hart problem. Murat started a treatment and we hope the medication will make him feel better.


As a part of the project started with Istek Foundation which owns 8 schools in Istanbul, we visited three more of these schools to give the education seminar about stray dogs. SHKD team was also invited to Izmit to give the seminar to 550 children from four different schools gathered together at the city’s cultural center. In all of the seminars, the students actively participated and enjoyed the seminar given by Murat Bekhan.

Training of Vets and Neutering in other Cities:

SHKD neutering team of Vet Murat Bekhan, Vet Necdet Ugur and Vat Tech. Omer Atis went to Bandirma and neutered 93 dogs and 5 cats and trained the municipality vet about the “key hole” neutering technique. On April 12-16 they will go to Edincik where they plan to neuter 150 dogs. These training and neutering trips to other cities are fully sponsored by Actiezwerfhonden.
We are grateful to all friends of our dogs for their contributions for their dogs at our shelter. We thank Actiezwerfhonden for all the donations in kind sent to us and for sponsoring the SHKD team to go to other cities for training and neutering.

Kind regards,

Bilge Okay/SHKD


February 2011

On Janurary 26, 2011, the SHKD team of veterinaries, Murat Bekhan, Necdet Ugur and vet technician Omer Atis have visited Erzincan, a city in Eastern Anatolia to neuter strays and to train the municipality vets about the key hole technique. They returned from ERzincan with very positive impressions, saying that it was especially amazing to observe the young mayor Yuksel Cakir’s very conscious approach to the issue. He said he believed that the problem of overpopulation of stray animals can be solved by neuter and return and that he wanted Erzincan to be the leading city in Eastern Anatolia to implement this technique and to solve the problem. He visited the SHKD team during operation and then invited them to his office afterwards to get through information about the subject. Another indicator for the mayor’s serious approach was that one of the two vets was particularly employed only for neutering of stray animals. Our friends taught the vet the details of the “key hole” technique. The SHKD team neutered 120 dogs and 19 cats during their visit. We are grateful to Actiezwerfhonden for financing the expenditures of this visit.
As of February 9, the volunteers in Erzincan called us to express their thanks once more and tell that the municipality veterinary that was trained by SHKD vets is continuing with neutering successfully. WE were happy to hear that the project we initiated is being continued.
The project planned with the textile firm “Karaca” for renewing the dog houses in the forest shelter has been launched by a fashion show on Jan 19. According to the project, 12 celebrities posed for the Karaca company celender, in return for which the company has promised to renew the dog houses at the shelter. The first 10 dog houses of the promised 300 arrived at the shelter. The project also aims to promote forest open shelter as a shelter model rather than the traditional prison type shelter where dogs are kept in cages.
Education projects has been continued. In the last two months Murat Bekhan has given seminar about stray dogs in two schools of Istek Foundation, Atanur Oguz and Bilge Kagan where more than 1000 students were addressed. The directors of Istek Foundation have invited the team to give the seminar in other schools of the same foundation in the second semester.

Thanks to the donation of Actiezwerfhonden, we bought a gas anesthetic device which is very crucial especially in the operation of elderly dogs.
General condition of the dogs in the forest shelter is fine. The weather was warm this winter and days were often sunny in Istanbul. Consequently, our dogs enjoyed the mild weather and sunshine and we had nearly no health problems stemming from cold weather. Only one of our dogs, Shef died a natural death because of very old age. All friends’ dogs are fine and happy, sending their love to the families who care for them.

We are more than grateful to everybody at Actiezwerfhonden and all friends’ who have dogs in the forest shelter, for generously supporting our efforts to end suffering of dogs in Turkey. Your support makes it possible for us to reach the most distant cities and launch neutering efforts at places where even touching dogs is regarded as dirty. Actiezwerfhonden has shown that animal protection is a wave of human compassion that goes beyond borders and reaches the most innocent and helpless of God’s creatures wherever they are.

Kind regards,

Bilge Okay
Member of Board


January 2011

In 2011 too, Murat is continuing his educational seminars. At the Bilge Kagan school 600 pupils enjoyed his lessons.


November 2010

Several days a week, Nilufer still comes to “her”former Sefamoy dogs to cuddle and look after them. She and ömer by now are big friends.

Dear Friends
Beste vrienden
All of us are happy this days becuse the weather is not cold and all the shleter is green the sun is shinng and it is around 20 degreee. Actiezverfhonden and shkd is working very good . we went to Erdek and we did neuther strays . Now I will go there for second time for an education project . there are two primary scholl at Erdek , we think in those scholl they have arround more then 1000 student. Their age are between 7- 13 years old. Now All turkey has a long holiday for ten days :)) As soon as it will finished we will restart our task.

A new Turkish federatin Haytap is doing great job. Via haytap we reach plenty diffrent organization. Proabbbly the next step will be Luleburgaz . People from Luleburgaz are so happy and excaity , they could not belive how our team do neuthering 50 dogs per day .The vets from there are also interestet in this project . He told me he can do max 3 operetion per day . I told him we will show you how can you do that and be fast.

All of our team are also so happy , because since long time we do concantre on only our shelter and rehoming issue. But with this project we go difrent vilages and help strays. Where no chance to reach any veteriny service . It makes us happy and give us motivation.
Thank God we have all of you and especially Linda. I do send her plenty difrent e mail and belive me all of them are contains beging and problems .
If she was may girlfriend belive me she will kill me and will say to me thats enough .

I would like to thank all of you for all of your effrot . You have plenty firends at Istanbul who are pray for you to God.

Best reagrds

Juni 2010

Dear Friends,

I was invited by “A Drop of Life Organization” which is a member of Haytap- to Bitlis- a city on the far East of Turkey- to give education seminar on June 9-10. In two days I made a presentation to a total of 2000 students from 10 different classes. The average number of students attending each session was about 180.

We had a lot of fun with the groups of age 7-8 years old. We did the performance in which some of us acted a dog, some a child though which the students formed an empathy about animals feelings through acting. Before this session began, I was on the stage, with a lively music in the backround and couldn’t resist swinging with the rhythm to warm up the atmosphere. One little girl, asked if she can come to the stage and said to me, “You can not dance at all. Let me dance instead and see how everybody will have fun.” After this moment, nearly everybody there began to dance mimicking a dog. I don’t remember having had so much fun in my life.

About 80% of the group of students of ages 9-10-11 agreed that neuter and release is the best method of reducing the number of stray animals. In my seminars, I don’t dictate anything to the students but by asking questions help them bring forward their own proposals for the solution of the problem. Only 1 % of the students in Bitlis suggested that killing is a solution. The rest opposed this view very strongly. One student insisted, saying “You forget the risk of rabies when you defend dogs.” I will never forget Aysun’s sound argument to answer this. She stood up and said, “It is humans fault if a dog has rabies. It means that necessary measures was not taken to prevent this. We should find a more civilized solution to the problem than killing animals.” I had given the same seminar in many schools in Istanbul and surrounding cities, I had never heard of such a sound and conscious argument declared by a student. I respected and admired all the children of Bitlis that Aysun represented.

In Bitlis, like in many of the Eastern cities of Turkey, most of the population are followers of the Safi sect of Islam according to which touching a dog is regarded as a taboo. It was especially promising for children of this city to declare that cruelty towards dogs as all animals is inhuman. All students were familiar with the idea of “neuter and return” as a result of the efforts of the organization “A Drop of Life”

The 12-14 age group agreed with the necessity of neutering but was not in favor of releasing dogs in their territor. They thought that the number of dogs in the street was above the level that could be tolerated and said that because of their religious beliefs people might harm dogs. Some of them proposed that stray dogs be put in shelters out of the city, one girl opposed this saying that soon these shelters would turn into death camps. In the end, they all agreed that the best solution is to make dog villages out of the city with the condition that dogs there shouldn’t be on chain or in cages.

Directors of “A Drop of Life Organization” have formed very good relations with the municipality and as a result of this the building of the new shelter is expected to finish by the end of June.

The seminars in Bitlis was the most unforgettable experience of last years of my life. After getting to know the children of Bitlis, I have gained confidence that the stray dog problem will be solved in a foreseeable future. The awareness about animals that “A Drop of Life Organization “ has raised in Bitlis is impressive and praiseworthy. I want to thank especially Dr. Ufuk Bayraktar, Dr Damla Sahin and Ayfer Kaya for their extraordinary achievements.

I also want to express our gratitude to the director of SHKD Robert Smith who has initiated this project, and to Jeanne Marchig, Petra Poorter and Linda Taal who has sponsored it and also Haytap the successful organisation of which has made it possible for us to reach students in Bitlis.

Sahipsiz Hayvanlari Koruma Dernegi


June 15th 2010

Dear Friends,
Lieve vrienden

We have ended this education year with a magnificent final in Bitlis. All of us felt honoured for the final program to be in Bitlis.
We have observed in Bitlis that the stray dog problem is being solved in Turkey possitively though slowly.

The support of our beloved friends like you have made this struggle easier for us.

Our dogs at the SHKD shelter are healthy and happy.

We are happy that Actiezverfhonden always gives a hand whenever we need.

I want to express my gratitude to all of you.

When you come to visit Turkey, you will meet more friends here than you can imagine.



Januari 2010

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we were at Ufuklar Primary School where we gave the > education seminar on stray dogs to a total of about 150 students. The > seminar was given in three successive sessions to students grouped > according to their ages. The content and style of the seminar was also > modified by Murat for each group, as more theatrical and playful for > the first group of age 7 and 8, and with full content to the second > group of age 9-10. The third group of age 11-14 watched our film, “The > Ghosts of the City” and a comprehensive discussion was held about > stray animals and how to solve this problem.

This time, Semra Onal and Sebnem Aslan from Haytap and Bihter > Sabanoglu from “Let’s Adopt” joined us. Semra participated actively > giving some parts of the seminar together with Murat. They will help > to make this project reach more students.

We thank Robert Smith, Jeanne Marchig, Petra Poorter, Linda Taal for > their support to make this project come true.






Novembre 2009

Dear Friends,

We were at Mahmut Sevket Pasa Ilkogretim Okulu yesterday. The school is in a small village which is by the forest near Polonezkoy. The area is full of stray dogs which have taken refuge in this small village after they were dumped to the forest by the Beykoz municipality last year. The villagers complain about the dogs and even threaten animal lovers who go there three times a week to feed the dogs. It is reported that villagers are very cruel towards the dogs and sometimes shoot them.

The education program was organised by the animal lovers headed by Berrin Olcay who persuaded the school management to invite us for this seminar which will be followed by a painting competition. To announce the winners of the competition, they are going to organise a party where the families will also be invited. We are going to give another seminar to the families at this occasion.

The education program yesterday was very successful thanks to Murat’s wonderful performance. Murat gave two consecutive seminars to two different age groups. The students all participated actively and eagerly. They loved the education booklets which we distributed to all of them. We also gave t-shirts with SHKD logos to those who gave good answers to Murat’s questions. The rest of the t-shirts were left to the school management to be distributed to the rest of the students.

We are grateful to Robert Smith, Petra Poorter and Linda Taal, the organisations Actiezwerfhonden and Wereldpootjes for supporting us for publishing the booklets and manufacturing the t-shirts.

Kind Regards,

Bilge Okay


May 2009

Dear friends,

Yesterday, we visited a primary school in Bursa( a nearby city in the Marmara region) , Yenisehir upon the invitation of one of the teachers. We gave the seminar in two groups to a total of 150 children. Murat was wonderful as usual, all the students listened to him with attention and in active participation. The students were sensitive and responsive. We distributed SHKD t-shirts and education booklets which they liked very much. The teachers promised to repeat the seminar in other schools in the city.

We are grateful to all the sponsors of the education project.

Kind regards,

Bilge Okay





November 2008

Dear friends
The weather in Istanbul is turning. It is pretty cold right now, and the predictions for the upcoming week are that it will get a lot colder.
All our dogs are happy and healthy, fortunately we have no problems with the conditions of the dogs.
Last week I received a Phone call from the municipality of Istanbul with the request to start cooperation between the SHKD and them. Our chairman Robert Smith and I had a conversation with the people responsible. They want to join forces as it comes to education and re-homing dogs.
They offered to hand over the dogs that were sterilized and unable to be returned to their original territory, because of illness, physical problems or just being to young to take care of themselves, so we would be able to put them up for adoption or take care of them in the forest shelter.(note Linda: in exchange the municipality would provide the SHKD with electricity, water and food)
We offered them that we would also help with sterilizing stray dogs and it seems they were going to accept this gesture. At this moment there is some deliberation going on to get this all properly documented, because without clear agreements we will not cooperate with the municipality.
The new manager of the department that is responsible for the policy concerning the way they deal with the stray dogs is a progressive person(note Linda; Dr. Fahrettin was invited a couple of years ago by StraydogsCampaign to visit 2 Dutch shelters, and in the shelter of Rotterdam a meeting was held to talk about the way to solve the problems with stray dogs).

I am certain that many of you know that our angel Linda Taal has a small problem that she has to overcome. We are all convinced that she will win this fight. Since I have met her she is my hero because she tries to help all the animals in my shelter and in the shelter of Sefakoy. She has overcome all sorts of problems already, and this battle will be won by her.
Thanks for helping and supporting me.
Best regards

Today we were at Cevizli Ilkogretim Okulu in Kartal- a poor district in the outskirts of Istanbul- upon the invitation of their teacher. Murat lectured about 400 students in consecutive groups. He used our slide show for the smaller students and for the bigger kids, we showed our film, “Ghosts of the City” and held a discussion with them. Murat gave toys- supplied by Tina- and shkd t-shirts as presents to those kids that answered the questions correctly. We were excited to observe that nearly all kids were enthusiastic about the subject, some of them already new what neutering is and were compassionate towards animals. All the kids Murat lectured were given our booklet. The teacher who invited us is an animal lover and will repeat the program for the rest of the students since we could only give the program for 400 students today while the total number is 1000.

Today, we were happy to observe that there is some change in awareness in Turkey.

We are grateful to Robert Smith, Linda Taal, Petra Poorter, Tina Alaca and everybody who supports us for these education programmes.
Oktober 2008

April 2008

Since our last update we still have been busy with the educating of school kids. And it is going very well.

A Dutch organisation has made a donation which made it possible to print the education booklets.

During the lessons the kids are always so happy. We play games and we do a quiz.

I try to tell them why it is important to neuter the dogs and bring them back to their territory.

A lot of the children are genuinely interested.

The past month we visited a school close to the clinic I work. A few days later a guy dropped by the clinic and asked for all sorts of information. He said his son told him that dogs should be sterilized and brought back to their own environment, but he didn’t fully understand the concept.

So I offered him a cup of coffee and explained everything to him. When he left he gave me €50,- to support our educational project.

He was convinced this was a perfect project that looked at the future and had a vision. And he thought that this was really necessary because otherwise we would lose more time and money.

Our dogs are doing very well.

It is spring and the shelter is turning green, the dogs are happy and play in the sun.
I thank you for your support.



January 2008/2

Dear friends,

We made an agreement with the TEGV, a prestigious Turkish organisation of volunteers that provide additional education to children in the age of 7-16.

The lessons take place after normal school hours, In Turkey, where they can go to several locations.

The presentation we held concerning our educational program made a big impression, and they asked us to teach the children in all their locations.
We are now looking for sponsors who are willing to finance the booklets and a computer which we will need to use during the lessons.


January 2008

First of all I would like to wish you a healthy and happy new year.

I hope you will continue your support and in that way you will able us to take care of the dogs in the shelter that can’t be re-homed.

In regard to the dogs that are suitable for re-homing, we are grateful for our cooperation with the Resanito Foundation.

We will pursue our battle for the dogs in Istanbul, although we sometimes lack of Faith.

Maybe you remember the story of thirteen pups that were born in front of the door of a Dutchmen in Istanbul, and that we tried to save.
In spite of all our efforts 8 pups died. Pups that are born during the winter months have a small chance of surviving and the mothers were extremely skinny, and in shock of being caught by us, that made the chances even smaller.
But I am convinced that when we had not brought them to the shelter, not one of them would have survived.

The forest-shelter is a shelter in the open-air. We have no electricity and no heated kennels where we can shelter the pups.

This time of year many pups that are living in the streets die as a consequence of the cold weather and we think it is awful to refuse our help to people that call us with the request to save a dog, but we don’t have the financial means to shelter every dog.

The dogs that are living in the shelter are doing well, it is hard under these cold circumstances, but with a lot of food and a doghouse they belong to the happy few that have these facilities.

Murat Bekhan

5. December


Today with SHKD, we visited Tayakadin Primary School for the education program on animal welfare. Tayakadin is a poor village far outside Istanbul. We had made an education program in this school last year and our visit today was a result of their invitation. We made three separate sessions for 100 students in each group. The students participated in the program with great attention and interest. We were happy to find out that they had not forgotten the content and messages of the program last year. Furthermore, we were glad to see that the school is taking care of the three dogs castrated by SHKD one year ago.


We especially thank Intervet and Mc Donalds for their donations of puzzles, milk, donuts and fruit juice for the students.
Dogs dumped by the Highway

As we were on our way to Tayakadin village, we came across dogs dumped by the highway and at deserted areas by municipalities. They were desperately waiting for food. It calmed us down a little to know that SHKD volunteers are feeding them three or four times a week. But nevertheless we were anxious for all those others dumped in forests where people couldn’t reach. We met twenty small puppies dumped in a vacant area most probably one or two days ago. They were hungry. We fed them with the food in our cars.


We returned back, encouraged by the success of our education program, and very sad to see the dumped dogs struggling to live in deserted areas.

November 2007

Last week there was an educational program organized at a primary school in Florya and the children of the school in Sezin visited their mayor.
When they asked for the duties of the mayor and community the answer was unanimously: the care of stray animals.
The children also promised to collect money on behalf of the dogs.
Education really does pays off!!

Oktober 2007


We were invited by PR Director Ms. Radan Turan, to Sezin School to make an education program on October 4 Animal Protection Day. We showed our film “Ghosts of the City” and our clip. The students participated joyfully and enthusiastically in the interactive program presented by our friend Murat Bekhan from SHKD. The young generation’s sensitivity towards animals made us hopeful about the future.

We express our gratitude to the directors of Sezin School for giving us this opportunity.


September 2007

We are having a school education project at a school which has primary and high school departments on 4th of October, Animal Protection Day. We will show our film, give a conferance to the high school students and make our slide show education program for the kids at primary school. I will send you pictures after the program. WE are planning to invite the kids to the shelter.

August 2007


There is a high voltage pole (I don’t know how you call it. It is the pole where electricity cables for the city are distributed) just near the shelter. One day, a month or so ago, a sparkle dropped from it to the trees under and there was a fire. The weather was extremely hot and the woods were very dry. So there was a great risk of the fire spreading in a short time. The workers did a wonderful job extinquishing the fire before it spread. This was our nightmare since the shelter is located in a forest and in the dry and hot summer forest fires was very prevalent.

July 2007

This is a really hot season for the dogs.

But fortunately they are all doing well.

I am sure that you can remember Sandra and her puppies, coming from Atakoy.

They are completely top fit and are normal, healthy and playful puppies. They are actually teenagers rather than puppies.

By the end of this month, they will hopefully be ready to be relocated. Our good friend Linda Taal will take the responsibility of one of the dogs upon herself… she succeeded in convincing her husband!
You must also remember the 110 dogs from Sariyer, who we took over from a dogs’ home in which they were living under miserable circumstances. You cannot imagine how healthy and happy they are now. We have taken pictures of all dogs and at least 70 are fit to be relocated.

We will try to find new families for them, which most probably will become a difficult task.
Also good news is that the municipality of Istanbul has finally realized what kind of mistake they have made with the appointment of the head of the veterinary department and has replaced him. A few days ago, a colleague and I had an appointment with him with whom we have discussed the current situation. He has listened to us carefully and agreed to mend all caused damages but that this will have to happen step by step.

Yesterday, he called one of our colleagues informing that the municipal animal clinic will momentarily be opened 7 days a week. A little step ahead, but better than nothing.

You all know that the previous head had dumped a countless amount of dogs in the forest and that animal lovers have been trying to provide the dogs with nutrition every day. We have requested the head to place the animal lovers at a cost free disposal of delivery vans with drivers.

With the support we get from all of you, although living miles away, I always feel you close to me which makes me never losing my hope.

Thank you very much for your support.

Remember: if you are in Istanbul, you are always welcome to visit us.

Kind regards,

Murat Bekhan vet SHKD

October 2006

A very heartfelt hello from Istanbul.
In spite of the warm weather everything is going fine in the shelter in the woods. The dogs are very well.
Of course life in a shelter cannot be compared to living in a home, with a family, but we try to give every individual dog attention and care.

We are grateful to you for helping ActieZwerfhonden and SHKD, we need this support badly and know that you are behind us.

We are grateful that our dogs have friends in Western Europe. Your support gives us the strenght to continue our difficult battle for the stray dogs.

January 2007

My apologies that I am a little late in writing this time. We have been very busy. The winter is very warm here, no rain and no snow. We expect a dry hot summer too. We are glad to say that all our dogs are happy and healthy. Just before the New Year a shelter in Istanbul has been closed. The manager wanted our help and we have taken the 113 poor dogs into our shelter in the forest. Many of the dogs are truly ill and in need of help. When they are ready we will try to find new homes for them.

September 3rd

The good season has begun. Autumn has just started in Istanbul. It is not too hot and everybody is happy. In August our friend Linda Taal sent us tick and flea collars. Ever since the dogs are wearing these, they no longer suffer from parasites. Some of the dogs are too shy and too afraid to be caught/touched. For them, we use drops. The cooler weather will also bring the end of parasite season.

The most important news from Istanbul is that the city of Istanbul has set up a Neuter & Release Project on August 1st. Between now and the end of the year some 5500 dogs will be neutered/sterilized.

In the past I and the members of my team have often lost heart, but you and the StrayDogsCampaign have always been there to support us. Now everything seems to be improving. If everything goes to plan, the stray dogs issue could be humanely solved within 5 years.

We wish you happiness and good helath and we hope that you will continue to support the stray dogs in Istanbul.

Kind Regards,
Vet. Murat Bekhan

7 August 2006

My name is Zehra Hizarci. I am a new SHKD volunteer in Istanbul, Turkey. I have lived in the Netherlands for 5 years with my husband. We brought a blonde Labrador home with us from the Netherlands. He is now living with us in Istanbul. He has a Dutch passport by the way :).

We are always busy re-homing dogs, but there are still around a 100 dogs in our pound that cannot be re-homed, and for these dogs we are looking for friends like you. Would you please help us with this?

I can also report to you that we have completely painted our pound.

The dogs in our forest shelter always have enough good quality water and food.

Kind regards,
Zehra Hizarci

June 2nd

I have great news from Turkey. Since S.H.K.D. started her work in Turkey in 1999, we did our utmost to get Neuter and Release recongnized as the only humane and structural solutions for the straydogproblem. In 2004 our governement accepted an animalwellfare bill, but untill now it wasn’t implemented. Now finally the governer published the law in the official newspaper, which means it will be implemented. This publication tells all about the municipalities obligation to solve the straydogproblem by means of Neuter and Release.

One of our friends Perihan Agneli has spend so much time with the minister of environoment, and now finally, we won!

Now everybody will be familiar with our policy , the stray animals should be catched, neuter ed , vaccinated and then brought back to their original territory and released. We are so happy these days. This is a very big success for all of us. But our job will continue. Many of Istanbul municipality including Metropolitan municipality don’t know how to practice Neuter (and Release).

Our next step will be to found a new organisation. With the power of famous and important people and big busynessmen, we wille press the municipalities to use our methods of catching and neutering. This fight will be even more difficult than the one we just won. We know the municipalities are lazy, don’t love animals and aren’t very eager to solve the problem. This will make our job a difficult one, but as we believe in the good cause we, in the end, will also win this battle.

My friends and I, we need your support. We need to explain our aims to more people. The more people support us the stronger we will be!

These days we use a fumigator for mosquitoes. You know Istanbul s climat is rather extreme; very cold in winter but now its getting very hot and we have many problems with the parasites. But , as usual:) we can handle the situastion . If you come to Istanbul in the summer. please let me know, we can visit shelter.



vet. Murat SHKD

May 20th
After close to six years collaborating with SHKD Semra has moved on to new challenges, and no doubt will continue be involved in animal wellfare. We wish her all the best. Ali has been with SHKD for the last five years, a great animal lover Ali knows the inside out of the shelter and above all, shows great leadership and team buidling qualities. The management of SHKD has placed full trust in Ali and wishes him the best.

april 2006
We are all very glad that spring has started in Istanbul. Our dogs are happy as well, even though they know this is also the season of fleas, ticks and vaccinations. In April we will start vaccinating the dogs against rabies, and we will also be giving them a cocktail vaccine. After the vaccinations, when the weather is warm enough, they will be washed with a shampoo that will kill the fleas and ticks at the same time.

March 29th we had a solar eclipse. It was very interesting to watch. Our forest shelter was a perfect place to watch the sun (with special protective sunglasses of course). The next solar eclipse will take place in 2061. I don’t know if I will be around to see it, but the next generation will. The previous solar eclipse was in August 1999, and was followed by a big earthquake in Turkey. So people are afraid that this will happen again this time. Scientists have said that this will not be the case.

We received a donation consisting of medicines against fleas and ticks from the StrayDogsCampaign Foundation. We will use these for the dogs that are too shy to be washed. Besides vaccinating the dogs, we will also be painting the shelters and dog houses in April. So it will be a very busy time.

Maybe you could mention the www.actiezwerfhonden.nl and www.shkd.org websites to your friends, in order to make our work better-known

With your support we will continue our work on behalf of the stray dogs and to solve the stray dog problem through our neuter & release programme.

Kind regards,

Murat Bekhan, S.H.K.D. vet

january 2006

Here we are in the middle of a strange winter. The rainfall is much less than expected. Snow has only showed up twice. The weather is fine and sunny for half a day or half a week and rainy and cold the other half. Some of the trees have given buds, some have blossomed. Of course our doggies are happy that the weather is not so bad as usual but we are a bit worried.

We have a lot of new dumped dogs to take care of. Some people always prefer to throw the responsibility on someone else’s shoulders.

Re-homing our dogs to Europe is still one of our major jobs. Unfortunately we can’t find homes easily in Turkey.

The struggle in Turkey to protect stray dogs and have the animal protection law enforced continues. You can follow news about Turkey in the website www.actiezwerfhonden.nl

We hope to give you better news of the progress in helping strays this year.

Kind Regards,
Vet. Murat Bekhan

November 2005

Hello and friendly greetings from SHKD.

Istanbul is chilly and winter is on its way!

We have made new accomodations for our dogs to meet the winter season. Each partition now has a shade made of metal and roofing material. This way their food will not get wet on rainy days and our dogs can sit under the shades and watch the rain without getting wet.

The struggle in Turkey to protect stray dogs and have the animal protection law enforced continues.

We wish our friends in Europe good health and happiness and hope your generosity towards the strays of Istanbul will continue.


Kind Regards,

Vet. Murat Bekhan


July 2005
We have had a hot summer. Our dogs are lucky to be in a forest shelter where they have lots of trees and bushes for shade.

I am happy to inform you most of the dogs are very healthy and happy. As we have nice wheather, we washed and brushed them and.

January 23rd
We check all dogs more often under such heavy weather conditions to see if they lie too still for too long. We have had no freezing incidents. The dogs are OK.

We are careful to feed them especially well on such days. The only difficulty we had was to get the personnel to work and back, it took longer than usual. The roads are full of snow and ice. Kemerburgaz is on the outskirts of Istanbul and secondary roads have not been cleaned up so well.

Istanbul is not used to so much snow. Some electric towers were damaged in the storm. We didn’t have electricity in most of Istanbul for two days. It came this evening

November 10th 2003
Op 10-11-2003 ontving ik (webmaster ActieZwerfhonden) een e-mail van Banu Erguder, medewerkster S.H.K.D. Istanbul met de huidige stand van zaken; de belangrijkste feiten uit de mail volgen hieronder evenals een vrije vertaling.

The land our present shelter is on was rented and the contract period is over so we have to move. That means we have to move the shelter, the dogs, the clinic.
The new land we are trying to rent is bare land and we have to make a new shelter and clinic there. The problem is to get a license to operate as shelter and clinic in the new land. When we overcome the problems of license and financial support, we will move everything from the present shelter to the new one.

We have been on the site of our present shelter for nearly 6 years.
The contract was for 5 years and we have to vacate it as soon as possible. The land has been sold.

We finally signed the receival document of the land we rented.
This week we have to start fencing it and carry some containers for the guardmen. We also have to employ gaurdmen.

The land we newly rented is bare land and we have to make a new shelter and clinic there. The problem is to get a license to operate as shelter and clinic in the new land.

Following that we have to have the project drawn, the understructure
(water, electricity, heating, drainage, well, etc) done. Then the pre-fabric building will be done. It is cold winter, the land is muddy from continual rain. We have a lot of hard physical work ahead of us not to mention the problems for the license to operate the shelter and financial costs

When we overcome the problems of license and financial support,
we will move everything from the present shelter to the new one.

The forest shelter remains as it is for the time being. The officials are also making problems about that shelter from time to time although it is just at a secluded area of an ex-garbage dump. We need to do a lot of lobbying work to get support from residents of this province and from Istanbul in order to overcome the resistance of the officials.

In the case that we don’t get permission for the new shelter we will have to look for new land or move everything to the forest shelter.

The cats are still in the cathouse at the present shelter. We hope to make a little cathouse at the new shelter if we find the finance to do it. However we will need sponsorshipfor running costs.

The current shelter is continuing for the meanwhile. We have transferred all healthy adult dogs to the forest shelter. There we need dog houses. Our workers have made somedoghouses from palettes but this is insufficient.

Rehoming project is going OK and we have transported by air and landmore dogs to their new homes this week. In the meanwhile people are dumping puppies (without mothers) near the entrance of our forest shelter. This is a big dilemna for us, if we don’t take care,they can’t survive. If we take care, it is difficult to reduce numbers in our shelters.
The puppies are so sweet and innocent, this dumping dogs business really hurts us.

Thank you for selling our T-shirts. You can be sure that the money is being spent for good purposes.

Best regards,

Banu Erguder

Dear Animal Lover,

By buying one of our combed cotton T-shirts you help SHKD to rehome hundreds of loyal and affectionate dogs which would otherwise live miserable lives on the streets or rubbish dumps of Turkey ; you also help us to continue our campaign to persuade the governments and municipalities of Turkey that neutering and vaccinating street dogs is a more effective and in the medium term a cheaper solution than the indiscriminate killing and poisoning which has been their futile and barbaric policy for at least the last 200 years.

Robert Smith – Chairman and Founder of SHKD Istanbul and FPCC, Campina, Romania