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

Hasdal

Abusive situation at communal animal shelter Hasdal/Istanbul

The abusive situation at the animal shelter Hasdal/Istanbul is being denounced on the Internet and many e-mail campaigns raise a protest.

Images do not lie, but some written texts are irrespective of the truth.

There will be a protest on January 23rd at the Taksim square in Istanbul. This protest will not only be addressing the Hasdal, but also all other abuse in animal shelters and during sterilizations performed by communal vets in Istanbul.

Captured stray dogs are being sterilized at the Hasdal. Most vets however are not competent and the care for the dogs before as well as after sterilization is extremely poor and disrespectful.

The meaning is to take good care of the animals for some days after the surgery before being released into their trusted area. This is not happening at this time; animals are treated badly and are not released as they should be. The dogs are mostly dumped in the forests surrounding the shelter or in unpopulated areas where they die of hunger and thirst. Sick and wounded animals are not taken care of at all, only sterilized.

The municipal council has agreed to discuss the road to improvement with the Turkish animal welfare organization HAYTAP.

We cannot expect miracles to happen, but ActieZwerfhonden feels it has no use to interfere with these discussions by calls for action that are not correct as regards to the content.

ActieZwerfhonden did however sent a letter to the mayor of Istanbul. This letter clearly states that the procedures followed in the Hasdal are against the Turkish animal welfare law. And the letter explicitly requests him to end the caused animal suffering.

ActieZwerfhonden will be following the situation closely and, in consultation with our colleagues in Istanbul, will adjust our policy when and if necessary.Brief naar burgemeester

Mr. Topbas,

My name is Linda Taal and I am the founder of Stichting ActieZwerfhonden (StraydogsCampaign foundation), a Dutch foundation of volunteers fighting for the Turkish straydogs and dogs in shelters.

Our aim is to improve their lives and diminish the growth of the population of straydogs by means of neuter and release as described in Turkish Animalwelfare law 5199.

Most likely you are aware of the fact that despite the law, neutering of straydogs is not common practice in Turkey and Istanbul is no execption.

My foundation acknowledges the problem is immense and won’t be solved in a couple of month. She also acknowledges education is a necessity in changing the overall attitude towards the dogs.

And most of all, for a country as big as Turkey, outside help will be needed to solve the straydog problem.

In 2010 the foundation financed neutering campaigns in Bitlis, Erdek, Sutculer and Luleburgaz and we do our utmost to find means to finance more campaigns in 2011.

On one of my visits to a shelter in Kemurburgaz I noticed the circumstances under which straydogs were kept and neutered in the Hasdal municipality shelter.
I have to say the conditions are less than poor and the way the dogs are treated by municipality employees is beyond believe.
There is nothing humane in the way these animals are neutered and treated before and after surgery.
Too many dogs are dying and too many dogs are released with injuries.
The dogs are not release in their original territory, as formulated in the law, but in the woods outside the shelter or in abandoned areas where they are likely to starve from hunger.

Despite the ethical objections against the way the municipality employees work, from economic perspective they are also wasting money.
The solution of neuter and release is not only part of the law in the interest of the dogs, but also because it’s the most economic solution; killing our dumping in desolated areas will never diminish the stray dog population, the problem will remain and for decades and decades a lot of money is and will be spend on killing dogs or deportation of them to a place where they will surely die sooner than they would have normally.
The number of stray dogs adapts to the carrying capacity of the environment. When dogs are caught or killed the remaining bitches will mate more often, there litter will be bigger and the survival chances of the pups will be better. So the actual number of strays in an area will remain constant and the total number of strays will only grow by creating a new population in abandoned areas where before there were no strays.
This means the citizens will continue complaining and the municipality will respond to their complains by killing or deportation of the dogs and the remaining bitches….etc. ect..
The only way to diminish the stray dog population in to have the carrying capacity of an area be met by neutered dogs, and so since there will be no offspring in a few years there will be hardly any stray dogs left.

Mr. Topbas, I call upon you to make an end to the horrible circumstances in the Hasdal municipal shelter and to use all your influence to have catch, neuter and release = Turkish law 5199 implemented in your city.

Awaiting your reply telling me what you can and will do to change the faith of the dogs for the better,

I remain
Sincerely yours

Linda Taal
Stichting ActieZwerfhonden

Answer

ActieZwerfhonden received an answer on her letter to the mayor of Istanbul about the appalling situation in the Hasdal rehab. The answer is a standard letter, without proper date and signature and contains the usual lies; everything is oke, Istanbul is an example for the rest of Turkey, the dogs are released in their own territory.

The municipality of Istanbul keeps denying the atrocities in the shelter of Hasdal. In a letter they even stated that PETA supports the shelter.
Meanwhile, PETA demanded a rectification of the letter.
Meetings with HAYTAP will continue.
People who have visited the shelter last week reported that it now is looking decent.

In the meantime the consultation with HAYTAP continues on the highest level. This consultation is focused on discharging inadequate trained vets and care takers, that shelters will be better equipped to execute their tasks (also containing emergency aid to sick and wounded animals), not only sterilizing admitted animals but also keeping an eye on the overall condition of the animals and placing the animals back into their original territory after sterilization.

HAYTAP also states that what happened in Hasdal is characteristic for the situation in all of Istanbul, even for all of Turkey; instead of poisoning stray dogs in large numbers, they are now being sterilized and dumped into a remote area. They are no longer killed, but now left to die.

People who visited the Hasdal in the last week of January report that everything looks acceptable now; apparently publicizing the images by Let’s Adopt did have some effect.

However, the method of protest and the used language is not the way ActieZwerfhonden would resolve the issues.