Turkey’s Konya Metropolitan Municipality has rehabilitated 4,241 stray dogs since 2016 and found new homes for them as part of the Volunteer Animal Friends Project.
Konya Mayor Uğur Ibrahim Altay said the municipality has implemented an exemplary project in which volunteers adopt stray dogs after the animals have been treated and vaccinated at veterinarian centers in the province. The municipality also provides a monthly allowance of TL 125 ($16.9) per dog for caretakers to cover the animals' expenses.
“So far, 1,578 citizens have adopted 4,241 dogs with the project. We hope this project spreads across Turkey,” Altay said.
Within the scope of the project, district municipalities of Konya bring stray dogs to Stray Animal Hospice and Rehabilitation Center in the province, which is one of Turkey’s most well-equipped centers, and conduct health checks. Afterward, the dogs are vaccinated, and the municipality attaches ear tags and chips and gives them to adoptive families in rural neighborhoods of Konya.
Each family can adopt a maximum of three dogs. After adoption, the municipality provides care, health and vaccination services.
The municipality continuously monitors the periodic checks, development, vaccinations, food supplements of the adopted animals with the "e-pati" (e-paw) application.
Stray animals in Turkey are vaccinated by local municipalities' veterinarians and are also regularly fed. Caring for needy animals is a part of the culture in Turkish society, and many citizens also contribute to looking after stray dogs and cats in their neighborhoods.
After the COVID-19 outbreak, many municipalities began providing food and water to street animals to prevent starvation and dehydration.
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