As temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the southern Turkish province of Antalya, stray animals look for ways to cool themselves off. In an attempt to offer furry friends relief from the heat, an animal shelter has begun giving daily showers to cats and dogs.
Combined with the humidity, unbearable heat affects the province which is a popular vacation spot for many. For stray animals, finding a cool place is difficult. At the Stray Animals Health Center run by the province’s Konyaaltı district municipality, they get their daily dose of cool water under the supervision of vets. The showers are helping 350 animals at the shelter to stay cool and healthy.
Nilay Vurkaç, a vet at the center, says cats and dogs are sensitive to the heat more than other animals. The shelter is fitted with sprinklers which keeps the compound wet and cool for animals. “Extreme temperatures drive animals to stress, and their eating habits change for the worse,” she said. “Like humans, they need to cool off, to relieve themselves of stress and move more in order not to gain weight. We wash them every day with attention to their eye and ear health,” she told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Monday.
“Some animals here suffer from various diseases, and they have to be washed carefully. We use disinfectants while washing them,” she said. The washing process has another plus side for the shelter. “People visiting here see how cheerful they are while having their daily shower and often decide to adopt one animal here,” she says.