About the street dogs and cats in Kusadasi
During my summer vacation, one of the first things that struck me were the large numbers of street dogs and cats on the street. Especially in the hotel gardens and near restaurants. Most of them were cute, especially the kittens and the puppies. I could never resist the temptation to feed the stray animals. And many tourists felt the same.
I overheard some comments: “Those little creatures do not come short of food here” or “Those animals eat better than us”. In the busy summer months that might sometimes be true but what happens and after the summer?
A paradise in summer time, a hell in winter time
Because there is relatively a large amount of food, most kittens and puppies survive. Certainly it is sometimes a paradise for the animals in hotels in the summer.
But did you know that Kusadasi and most other tourist places are very different after the holiday season?
The tourists leave, most people with a holiday home also leave. By far the majority of hotels and guesthouses are closed. Many restaurants are not open in the off season.
For many stray animals, now paradise turns into a hell.
What is the result?
Outside the tourist season the stray dogs and cats depend on the few remaining people that are still feeding, and what they can still find in the rubbish bins. As far as the garbage containers are concerned, the cats have the advantage over the dogs that can not jump into those.
Because there are fewer people, there is of course also much less food to be found in waste containers. Sometimes nothing at all.
Did you know that there are many residential areas where hardly anyone lives in the winter?
Therefore in winter it is much more difficult for stray animals to find any food.
After only a few weeks, the kittens and puppies do no longer look so cute anymore, but skinny and sick. Often flea infested, worms in their bellies and with inflamed eyes and wounds.
The stray animals are nobody’s and far too few people care about them.
What can you do about it as a tourist?
If you are only here for a few weeks for vacation, the possibilities for helping are somewhat limited. Adopting animals is possible but it is a process that takes months.
Because so many animals die miserably, preventing that they are born, is actually the best. This through sterilization and castration. Although the costs here in Turkey are significantly lower (about 4x cheaper than in the Netherlands), it still costs money. Many Turkish people can not afford it.
Fortunately, there are animal charities such as Animal Rescue Kusadasi consisting of volunteers, who do their best to alleviate the suffering of the animals. Where necessary, medical assistance is given and animals that come under our care are sterilized or neutered when they are nursed back to health.
As long as it is financially feasible, we neuter and spay stray animals to help limit the growth of the stray population. If you have been here before and seen the quantity, you will understand that a lot of money is needed. Given the number of strays there is always too little money.
That is why your donation is desperately needed!