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Dogs looking for friends

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

7/18 Aysun in the forest shelter

Aysun Oney, friend of Pretty Boy, visited the forest shelter in Istanbul on July 19.


My experience when visiting the forest shelter in Istanbul.


Rasim (vet in training) welcomed me on my arrival at the airport of Ataturk.

He brought me to the home of Hussain, one of the care takers of the forest shelter, where I would spend the night. The next morning I visited the forest shelter together with Hussain and his wife and daughter. Once there, I stared my eyes out; what a number of dogs they are caring for!

Upon arrival at the shelter everyone started their tasks immediately; feeding, filling up the water bowls, scooping up poop and checking up on dogs that need extra care.


I asked Hussain’s wife why she is a volunteer. Her beautiful answer to that was “I never really had a thing for dogs, but could also not stand abuse or mistreatment of animals. I learnt to love dogs here, they need us, we just cannot stand around and do nothing.”


After 5 hours of hard work I unfortunately had to leave to proceed on my journey. If I visit Istanbul next year, I will be sure to visit the shelter again.


The forest shelter is maintained as good as possible, but it is not ideal. The recourses are limited and people have to make the best of what they have. There used to be 8 care takers but, due to a lack of income, there are now only 3 left. The dogs, about a thousand, are being taken care of to the best of their possibilities. But you can understand that working with only 3 care takers on a thousand dogs, the shelter is quite shy for extra help. The men however do their utmost from early in the morning to late in the evening.


Most animals are withdrawn and fearful for humans, but that is quite understandable considering all they went through. The ones who are not scared love to be around you and lay down on your lap. One of the females even nips out of delight.






Making adults as well as children conscious about animals is a very important task. People often do the weirdest things, when knowing too little about animals.


Matis (a Golden Retriever cross-breed) was adopted about six months ago. Now Matis was returned to the shelter; the animal waged his tail so that the infant of the family fell down… Matis did not want to leave the car when brought back to the shelter, he did not want to leave his new owner. With tears in my eyes, I tried to give him as much attention as possible.


In the Netherlands we are used to paying costs when adopting an animal or when bringing an animal to a shelter. The forest shelter does not charge anything when an animal is returned, out of fear that the animal will be dumped on the streets if they do.


Matis is really unhappy and would love to find a home.


Thanks to the people of the forest shelter he has a place to live, but what a dog really needs is a home and a family to call its own. They do need our support so bad.


So; adopt a dog (or two J )into your home or, like me with Pretty Boy, on a distance and in your heart.