We are their only hope.
Street animals can be found in virtually all areas of the world. In urban areas, in poorer countries in particular, street dogs and cats have simply become part of the city landscape. The animals – who may have been abandoned by their former owners or born into a life on the streets – have a tough existence, suffering from hunger, untreated injuries, sickness and parasites.
Our current focus country is Turkey. The villages, towns and cities of Turkey are full of homeless cats and dogs. The exact number is unknown, but some estimate there are several million dogs living on the streets. Many of the dogs are mixed breeds, so called mutts, whilst others are descended from the classic working dog of Turkey which is the Anatolian shepherd. The number of cats is estimated to be more than several millions.
There are a growing number of dedicated volunteers who do their best to feed, treat and protect street animals. Local animal-lovers have little to no support in their quest to support street animals in their area. They often suffer abuse and receive threats from their fellow citizens who don’t like to see cats and dogs on their doorstep. They are all so overwhelmed with the number of animals needing help, they often reach out to charities like Help Street Cats and Dogs for help.
Homeless cats and dogs are left facing injuries and disease without aid. Weather conditions are extreme in Turkey, with hot, dry, arid summers and freezing sub-zero winters. Food sources are scarce and during the arid months there is no drinking water. When the dogs appear on roads searching for food they are often killed on the roadside.
Unfortunately, we have seen too much evidence of dogs blinded by gunshot wounds to the face; dogs or chained, abandoned, and left to starve; boxes of puppies dumped on the side of the road; litters tied up in plastic bags and binned, buried or drowned… the reality is truly heart-breaking.
There are so called shelters but not used for its intended purpose. The authorities often respond with brutality. Animals are beaten to death, poisoned or dumped in the mountains.
It’s a death sentence for any animal entering a shelter there, because they will not come out alive often dying of starvation, sickness or cruelty.
People pose the largest threat to street animals, carrying out mindless and utterly barbaric acts of torture and deliberate cruelty, unfazed by the idea of hurting an innocent animal.