home - thanks and good bye Veterinaries in the near region: For working group contact :


Hasan Ulas Gökduman,
Gökova  0533 475 27 71

Göksel Bayramlı,
Gökova 0252 246 6629

Yasemin Ilseven  

0531 491 8935


GAS-Der Straydogs Workgroup


Stray dogs and cats in Turkey

Stray dogs and cats are a real problem in Turkey, but slowly we are finding solutions. Holiday resorts, like Akyaka, where there are so many visitors, pensions and restaurants in summer months become places where unwanted animals are 'dumped'. Sometimes visitors from the big cities think that here is a place where dogs will get food and at the end of their stay there is no return home for the pet ... at other times of the year folk from surrounding villages bring half a dozen or more dogs and just leave them - this latter group can play havoc with our village chickens. In the past the local councils' traditional method has been to put down poison whenever there are complaints about the growing numbers. Another cruel method is to round up the dogs and take them out to the remote parts of the forest. All this causes great anger for true animal lovers and foreign tourists are also shocked at such tales.

An answer to our prayers came with the founding of the Fethiye Friends of Animals' Association which was set up in the 1990's. Their program is based on 'Neuter and Release’ which is the first of its kind in Turkey. Their mobile clinic visits us for 2 - 3 days twice a year and fortunately the local council now fully co-operates and welcomes them. A small group of local animal lovers collect the dogs early in the day and they are then sterilised, vaccinated against rabies, 'wormed' and finally ear-tagged for our records. Recovery is remarkably quick but the local helpers check on each dog in the following days. Follow-up rabies jabs are given annually by the Ministry of Agriculture & Animal Affairs. These clinics, which started in October 2001, have brought a huge change in local attitudes of the villagers and their children who previously were often fearful of stray dogs. During these busy visits, which are near the main school in Akyaka, passing children are fascinated by the sight of 'sleeping dogs' laid out on rugs, tethered dogs awaiting the operation and the helpers tending the recovering patients! We have several children who come to help and learn at first hand that 'neuter and release' is far better than poisoning! We have sometimes been able to arrange for local people to 'adopt' a street dog and there are even a few kennels outside houses on the street, which give shelter from the sun in summer and rain in winter! People are far more willing to feed the dogs now in winter months and are learning not to see them as a threat.

In summer months our street dogs lead a wonderful life as the foreign tourists are their best friends and spoil them with 'treats' and titbits. Sometimes you will even see a dog lying on a beach bed with the tourist perched on the end! Many of Akyaka tourists come back again and again and want to see how their canine friends are faring. Some even arrange to take their favourite back to Europe and several now live in Germany or Holland. For this reason we would like to present to YOU some of our most loveable strays that we know would make SOMEONE somewhere a loyal friend. Do read their stories and if you decide you can help make one of them happy in a new secure and loving home, we would like to help you for the necessary documentation of whichever lucky dog you choose. We are not a charity, but we do welcome any donations in the form of dog food, parasite tablets and frontlines!