Pendik municipality aids Tekirdağ’s stray animals
TEKİRDAĞ - Hürriyet Daily News
Pendik municipality vet Ayşe Keleş (R) finds the place in better condition than she has assumed before. She underlines the importance of sanitation in animal shelters."I can’t believe my eyes. There are so many people here,” cried Eda Barın, tears running down her face as she ran to meet Ebru Elgöç driving in the parking lot of Bauhaus in Beylikdüzü district, which was the meeting point of the self-proclaimed Marmara Ereğlisi Animal Shelter Volunteers on March 4.
This handful of men and women regularly take food, medicine and items like old newspapers and blankets to treat stray animals that are literally dumped near a town refuse in the western province of Tekirdağ. The volunteers are hopeful for May when the district municipality in Marmara Ereğlisi will finally turn the piece of swampy land, which is sheltering dozens of stray animals in five or six white-washed one-story concrete containers, into a real shelter. This shift will also change the volunteers’ self-proclaimed status.
The volunteers’ charity convoy included municipality officials. Unfortunately, the officials were not from Tekirdağ, which governs the Marmara Ereğlisi district in the top municipal level. The municipality of Istanbul’s Pendik district, having learned about the Sunday meeting through media reports, contacted volunteer Barış Soyer to ask what they could do to help them.
“I told them that our chief object of requirement was logistics. We need more vans to transport the donations. They promised to send us a van, dog food, a driver and one of the municipality’s vets. We will make another convoy later in March, and they promised us they will send further aid for that,” he said. Soyer is running an Internet radio channel called Pati FM, and it is thanks to his broadcasting that the weekly visits of the volunteers are receiving more interest from animal lovers.
Dog food best feeding item
Pendik municipality veterinarian Ayşe Keleş said she found the place in much better condition than she had assumed before. “These people have been doing a great job, but this is not something you can manage without the help of public offices,” she said. But as a professional, she also had criticism about the volunteers’ practice. “Sometimes we are causing harm to animals while we are most zealous to help them. These pets should not be fed raw meet and milk so that we could avoid contagious infections, diarrhea and parasites. Dog food is the best nutritive item for stray animals,” she said.
But dog food is a very costly diet compared to pasta with sausages, bread crumbs in milk and raw chicken bones. And the volunteers are seeking support from more volunteers and preferably from sponsors.
During the visit, Elgöç broke the happy news about the municipality’s project to open the place as an official shelter in May, which is happening after the volunteers’ continuous pressure in the last year and a half. She added the convoy’s next stop would be a nearby shelter financed by another district of Tekirdağ, called Yeniçiftlik, where the conditions were reversed.
“This is a legal shelter and the municipality is willing to do all it can, but it needs help. They are sending loaves of bread everyday and there is a municipality official here who takes care of the animals and lets us know about the problems. But this place lacks a full-time vet, and the municipality needs to be granted governmental permission and official funds to hire another civil servant to assign here as a vet.”
After more than three hours of feeding, cleaning, medical treatment and similar care giving, volunteers had to hit the road to check up on this shelter, despite the protest of the beloved objects of their visit in Marmara Ereğlisi, who must wait for another week to see their caretakers. Proud as the volunteers were, they suffered heartbreak since they had just thrown the dead bodies of two puppies and an adult dog into fires to avoid contagion before they left the nonexistent Marmara Ereğlisi Animal Shelter.