Endorsed by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB), the app SemtPati has an ambitious goal: to map all the stray cats and dogs roaming the city’s streets. Developed by Koç Sistem, a leading IT company, the app recruits volunteer animal lovers to enter stray animals from every neighborhood of Turkey's most populated city into its database.
SemtPati, a wordplay on semt (neighborhood or district in Turkish) and pati (paw in Turkish), aims to better manage the animals' health and care by assisting local administrations in their decision-making when it comes to their animal policies.
Ipek Kıraç, a member of the Koç business dynasty who owns the developing company, is the brain behind the project that launched its pilot trial in the leafy Göktürk neighborhood on Istanbul’s European side. Kıraç joined Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu on Thursday to promote the project and sign a cooperation protocol with the IBB. Kıraç says she came up with the idea when the number of stray dogs she fed every day reached 18. “My car’s trunk was full of food for stray animals, and I noticed that my personal efforts would not be enough to care for all the dogs. I noticed that each of those animals needed a family who loves and cares for them,” she said.
The app will create a database for each animal in every neighborhood, information on people feeding and caring for them as well as veterinarians operating in the area. Each animal will have a profile that will include photos, descriptions of their physical features and regularly updated information about their health in an attempt to promote their adoption.
Imamoğlu says they plan to make the app available across the city within six months.
Through the database, authorities will be able to monitor the state of stray animals in Istanbul and coordinate measures such as sterilization. The app allows animals in emergency situations, such as injury or disease, to be attended to faster as well as helping locate missing animals and animals abandoned by owners. Users can report emergencies through the app and volunteers will be notified.
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