This man loves dogs.  Any dog.  My husband is as burly and masculine as you can be, but get him near any type of canine and he is like butter.  Which is truly adorable.  We spend a lot of time petting street dogs.   Lately we have also been feeding them.  We bring our leftovers to the park near our house where the dogs hang out.  They love it.  When I jog in the park I am now trailed by several dogs who alternately beg for food and affection.  Spring 2010 Ankara 164

Recently we heard about a dog shelter through some friends of ours who volunteer there and have started a community campaign.  It is the only one we are aware of in the  city.  Dogville, as  has been dubbed, is home to over four thousand dogs.  There are even hundreds of purebred dogs there, due to dog ownership issues in Turkey. The shelter is supported by the city, but there are just not enough funds to sustain the dogs.  They are malnourished due to a mainly bread and water diet.    A large problem now is the cold.  The dogs are hungry to start with, but the bread/water mush freezes in the winter before they have a chance to eat it. They are in mostly uncovered cages with no protection from the elements. There are some doghouses for shelter, but usually not enough for all the dogs in the cage.  The cages also tend to be crowded.

Bulent has been buying dry dog food and organizing food donations from hotels in the area and feeding the dogs at the shelter a couple of times a week.   Our friends have also been volunteering and are working on creating awareness and a sustainable aid project.  There are lots of ways to help, both physically at the shelter, and with other types of aid.  If anyone is interested in helping please check out the website.

Ways to help:
• Bring and distribute food
• Make sure the cages have water
• Clean the cages
• Help with improving the cages
• Pet the dogs
• Donate food, or blankets
• Call local restaurants and hotels for leftover food donations
• Send food (via mail order)
• Spread the Word

5 thoughts on “Dogville

    • In Turkey, outside of rural areas, pure bred dogs are considered a status symbol. Very rarely do people ever think of adopting mutts or kangal dogs/puppies from the shelter or the streets. Dog ownership in urban areas is fairly new here because it is considered unclean in a way to have a animal in your home. Many dog owners don’t know how to deal with dogs or train them, or realize the commitment, so after they are no longer cute puppies, they get rid of them.

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