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Dogs looking for friends

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

Yolanda in Istanbul 2009

A few minutes later we were ready to drive the last few hundred meters and we were warmly welcomed by a number of permanent staff and volunteers, and we immediately got a small tour. And everyone from the friends project, it is looking so fantastic over there, it is clean and well maintained and spacious!
Loek and I were all quiet because we were amazed and impressed….

Especially for the dogs that are in the friends project, most of them are dogs that have lost all confidence in mankind and are nor able to be re-homed, this is a great place for them to be allowed to stay there for the rest of their lives in peace. They live in small groups, all with at least one “buddy” in large compartments, parts of the forest with spots that let the sun come through and sun or where they can find shade, a safe place.
They are lovingly cared for, they have a doghouse for shelter and everywhere are big buckets with fresh drinking water and food that even I was able to take if I would wanted, but doog food it not really my favorite.

Almost every dogs within the friends project(yes, we have really seen them all, although it was hard to spot them sometimes!) is looking well-fed and happy. Some dogs are aging, like my “own” dog Fidel.

Also in dogs age comes naturally with defects. It is really thanks to your contribution as a friend of a dog that these old dogs, which are often high on medical costs, can have the good life.

In the afternoon we, together with Omer, the vet-assistant from SHKD shelter, tried to get pictures of all dogs from the friends project. Omer knows all the dogs by name, fortunately, but sometimes we could not shoot more than a tail in our picture. Some other dogs thought that I or the camera was too scary, I’m afraid it is the first!
As I said before the dogs have quite a lot of space, so they went out to spy on us from behind the bushes, posing for the photo was something that was not very popular with many of them…!

Some of you will have to discover their dog behind the bushes, or just accept the tip of the tail…. We apologize for this!

You understand there are other dogs that are waiting for a friend to support their care, so if you know someone who is willing to help a dog financially, we would be very happy!

Warm greetings from all of the staff and volunteers from the SHKD forest shelter!

Part 2

Yolanda’s puppy and the situation in Turkey

It was love at first sight, for sure.

I met her during my visit at the SHKD forest shelter last May 2009.
When entering immediately my attention was drawn towards a set of kennels directly in the centre of the shelter. It was the sick-bay, especially for dogs that need care all day. I was allowed to go to her, just to hug her.
She was found along the side of the road, skinny and hit by a car which caused a broken leg and her tail was severely wounded so it had to be amputated. I asked her name, and the medical attendant Omer said smilingly that she now would be called Yolanda. My little puppy, so sweet and innocent!

 

 

 

In the SHKD forest shelter are currently living around 600 dogs, all emergency cases that would not stand a chance on the street, or that were nominated to be poisoned by the municipality or local people. In this shelter the dogs have a safe spacious kennel and get good care.

There are many shelters in Turkey where huge numbers of dogs are staying, but in many shelters owned by the municipalities the dogs are living in far too tight cages mixed with all sorts of sizes, are sick, weak or injured, left to their fate, preferably without sufficient food and water. .
It is not a solution to take all dogs from the streets that are instinctively breeding and put them in this kind of “concentration camps”, with the intention that they will quickly die a horrible death.
But the dogs that end up in these shelters, were brought here intentionally to clean up the streets….

According to the Turkish law, all municipalities are responsible to sterilize their dogs and put them back into their own territory. In accordance to the investigations of the World Health Organization this is the only effective and humane way to solve the stray dogs problem.
Local authorities are, unfortunately, changing this into their own way of handling the problem. They catch the dogs, they let “butchers” sterilize them and then they are brought to a crowded shelter where the will suffer or they are being brought to remote forests in order to die …
And meanwhile the government acts as if they do not see, as if it does not happen.
Do not even think about taking a look at one of these shelters, let alone take pictures. Why would this be?

One of the most frightening things that I’ve heard of was about a shelter packed with dogs, where all the employees went on vacation all at once. Gate locked, finished…

The only weapon we have is education, especially at primary schools. When adults are not able to feel the compassion for animals, let us hope that the children will be. And we learn them that a dog is a living creature with its own right to a good life, but also that a dog that is sterilized is not able to have puppies, so it is not necessary to take so many dogs to a shelter.
Of course, the government is responsible for this education, but anyway, as you already might have understood, this task is now performed by a handful of exhausted animal protectors, and I have great respect for them!
When will the Turkish government finally take their responsibility, you are wondering, not until today’s children are becoming the government of the future?
Let’s just pray for this, but do we really need to wait? Can the dogs living today wait for this to happen?

You might wonder why my story about my puppy Yolanda has become so grim.
Yesterday, I get new pictures of my little baby, my idea was that perhaps I could help to find a safe home for her, maybe even here with me.
At night, I got the sad news. My little puppy was deceased the day before. Her small injured body had given up the fight, despite the good care in the forest shelter.

The dear friend in Istanbul that brought me this sad news, told me what her mother told her when she still was a child if she had lost a street dogbuddy again.
Her mother always said: “darling, be happy for this dog, it will never have to tolerate the pain of the stones that are thrown at him” …
A wise woman with compassion.

But dear people, this puppy should never have been born, just like many other puppies that were not suppose to be born did not have to!
She should have been spared from her hunger, loneliness and pain of the brutal hit!

I am here, with pain in my heart and can only hope.
Hope that with StraydogsCampaign we can raise enough money to continue buying more education material, hoping that there are sent many letters to the Turkish government where they are asked for complying with the animal welfare law, and hope that the animal protectors in Turkey will not give up their battle, no matter how difficult it is!

And I hope that there is a heaven where my puppy can stay together with all those squandered abused dogs and where they are free of pain and misery…