Kindhearted people have taken time to help the freezing strays in Istanbul and all over Turkey. Stray dogs in the shopping areas have been given cardboard, blankets, food and towels to help them stay warm. Not a political mandated order to round up all the strays; it has been a collective effort of animal lovers and compassionate people coming together and providing comfort for those who cannot protect themselves.
On the Facebook page of Arzu Inan, the manager of the clothing store Penti described how they opened up their store in Istanbul to let the dogs come in and sleep:
“Unutmayın ki sadece gerçek sevgi ısıtır….” (Don’t forget that only true love warms up…), Arzu posted on her Facebook page.
While there are shelters for homeless people, even though statistics have already recorded the deaths of 20 people from the arctic conditions this past week, there are no shelters for the animals. Long haired dogs may be better able to withstand the cold, but what about the short haired canines shivering and trying to cuddle into balls to preserve their body heat? And that’s when the help came. Malls opened their doors. Even separate sanctuaries were made available for the stray cats. According to CNN Turks, one of the volunteers who gathered blankets and food for the strays stated:
“All of us, if we can help as much as we can, all the stray animals will be in good shape and the street animals need help all over the world.”
And even though Turkey seems so far away for people in the United States, our homeless pet issue is of major concern in our own backyard. While it is impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in our country, estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million. In a world of troubling politics, there’s always that reassuring confidence that kindhearted people still roam the earth and speak for those who cannot talk. Why shop for a new companion when you can adopt?
(Photos of Istanbul stray dogs via Facebook and Imgur)
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