Woman establishes shelter for disabled stray dogs despite all odds
A woman has established a shelter for disabled dogs in the Black Sea province of Kastamonu after experiencing problems with her neighbors over the care of the animals.
The shelter opened without electricity and water, reported state-run Anadolu Agency on July 22.
Hülya Balcı, a 38-year-old hospital worker, has been caring for stray dogs for 19 years. After her neighbors started complaining about her and the animals, she bought a property on the Kastamonu-Tosya highway to locate the shelter.
Balcı used all her savings and additionally received a bank loan in order to buy the property 15 kilometers away from the city center.
Balcı has transformed the property into a shelter for dogs and named it “Patiköy” (Paw Village). There are currently 20 disabled stray dogs in the shelter. However, despite being built, the property currently does not have access to electricity or water.
“For electricity [access], we have prepared our project and given it to the relevant institution. Since the shelter is out of the area of village residence, we have been told that it should be considered as an investment plan. And for this one more year is needed [for authorities to give the relevant permission],” Balcı told Anadolu Agency.
“We might have shortcomings in many areas; however, [the dogs] are happy and at peace here. Seeing them like this makes me happy,” she said.
“‘Patiköy’ has been my dream since my childhood. I have been taking care of stray animals for 19 years. I would take in and take care of those that were wounded and disabled. Due to my neighbors’ complaints, I had to move out and started looking for a property outside the city. Since my financial savings were not enough, I took out a loan from the bank and bought a property by the Tosya highway,” Balcı said.
Balcı and her spouse also moved to the shelter, living currently in a cottage inside the property.
Despite all problems facing Balcı, she says that she lives a peaceful life. After finishing her day at work, the happiest part of her day is returning to “Patiköy” and reuniting with her dogs.
“We put out doghouses for the dogs, but they come out during the day. We don’t have a roof above the garden so the dogs get hot during the day and cold during rainy days,” Balcı said, adding that she wants to have a roof in the garden built to protect them from adverse weather conditions as well as a small swimming pool for them to freshen up.
“I am trying to finance everything through loans so I am unable to afford these things myself right now,” Balcı said.
Balcı said she invites animal lovers to come to the shelter to volunteer to take care of the dogs during the daytime while she’s at work.
“Almost all my dogs are amputated or blind. I work during the day. People could come in during the day and take care of them” Balcı said.