Abandoned dogs find home in US
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
DHA PhotoTwo hundred and twenty-three Golden Retriever dogs, abandoned by their owners, have found their new homes in the U.S., thanks to a hard-working Turkish volunteer and gracious foreigners willing to adopt strays abandoned on the streets of Istanbul.
Animal lover Yasemin Baban, who works to protect and save stray dogs that are abandoned in Istanbul’s forests, helps Golden Retrievers finds home in the U.S.
Istanbul has 28 animal shelters, 26 of which are affiliated with the municipalities. In accordance with the law, the animals should be left where they are taken after being treated or neutered in the shelters. But this is not happening.
Instead, the animals are left in remote parts of forested neighborhoods such as Beykoz, Sarıyer, Şile and Arnavutköy. And unfortunately, the kennels made by a handful of animal lovers like Baban are insufficient to save all the abandoned animals in Istanbul.
As Golden Retrievers are preferred because they are friendly family dogs, Baban said, “When a Golden gives birth to 10-12 puppies, their owners give them to friends or relatives saying they are too cute. But as dogs grow older, their owners abandon them in shelters or forests because they are too lazy to take them on walks or disgusted by their [shedding] hair.”
Also, there is no limitation on breeding these dogs, which are sold on the Internet for as little as 200-300 Turkish Liras.
Animal activist Baban, who lives with 13 dogs of her own, puts the abandoned Goldens up for adoption through foreign civil society organizations, like “Adopt a Golden Atlanta,” which brings together Atlanta residents and surrendered Goldens.
Baban has so far found homes for 223 dogs in the U.S.
She advises people who want to adopt to visit shelters. “Rather than paying money to a puppy breeder, go to the shelters. Foreigners watch videos of these animals and call us crying and saying that they want to adopt one of these animals in need. I hope Turkish people become aware of [this issue] and breeding stops.”
However, Baban has been criticized for sending the dogs abroad. She has responded by saying, “I am a volunteer in the shelter. I give them food in the forest. I get no gain out of it. I do it for the animals only. Is it better for them to be abandoned in the forests?”
Another animal lover who also she brings food to the forest says the animals are miserable there.
On the website of “Adopt a Golden Atlanta,” there is a special section for Turkey’s stray dogs. When these dogs find their new home, people can watch their new beginnings on the website, which also shares the contact information of their new families.