Volunteers demand proper shelter after dogs die in fire
TEKİRDAĞ – Hürriyet Daily News
The fire, which killed a number of stray dogs, broke out at the beginning of last week with a second blaze flaring up after firefighters had extinguished the first.
A fire at a dump in the western district of Marmara Ereğlisi killed a number of stray dogs last week, again raising demands for a proper animal shelter in the district.
The fire broke out at the beginning of last week with a second blaze flaring up after firefighters had extinguished the first, according to Ebru Elgöç, one of the five people who make up the Marmara Ereğlisi Animal Shelter Volunteers.
“The junk collectors working at the town dump let us know about the fire. We are always in contact with them for the daily care of the animals there,” she said.
The Hürriyet Daily News had previously reported on the conditions of the Marmara Ereğlisi Animal Shelter in the Thracian province of Tekirdağ.
The shelter is located on one side of a highway which connects Tekirdağ to the nearby district of Çorlu.
The town’s dump lies on the other side of the highway. According to reports from volunteers, Marmara Ereğlisi Municipality collects stray animals in the city center and abandons them at the dump without any chance for rehabilitation.
The unofficial Marmara Ereğlisi Animal Shelter Volunteers, who are all based in Istanbul, pay weekly visits to the area to look after the animals that reside within the dump and its surrounding area.
The fact that stray dogs are strolling around the town dump underlines the immediate need for a proper animal rehabilitation center in the area, she said. “This is something only the municipality can do. We are at our wit’s end with this problem.”
Informed by junk collector
Elgöç said one of the junk collectors who daily offers his help in feeding the animals living at the dump called the volunteer group to inform them about the fire.
“The collectors also called the firefighters but by the time they reached the site, the fire was already out of control. The puppies were unable to escape and their mothers refused to leave them. They were all burned alive. And our friends there were not able to save them although they tried,” she said.
A municipal official speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Daily News that the fire did not occur at the town dump, but at a nearby slaughterhouse. The official claimed there were no human or animal casualties.
Elgöç said the municipality had made similar comments to them, leading two volunteers from the group to visit the site.
“It took the firefighters some time to get the fire under control, but the real problem was that [the fire] kept breaking out. Firefighters told my friends that the fire was probably due to methane combustion, which was inevitable due to high temperatures. We are concerned that fires will keep breaking out the whole summer,” she said.
Although the group cannot estimate the number of dogs which died in the blaze, Elgöç said around 200 dogs lived at the dump site and that none were present when group members arrived to inspect the dump. “Most of them ran away, according to what the collectors told us. But mothers with puppies perished.”