Most animals taken to shelters in İstanbul are bought from pet shops and later abandoned.

Around 15,000 stray animals, most of which were bought from pet shops and later abandoned, were taken to animal shelters in 2012, the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s Veterinary Department announced recently.

According to the Veterinary Department, most of the dogs and cats that were abandoned on the streets are animals bought from pet shops. Vice President of the Animal Rights Federation (HAYTAP) Nesrin Çıtrık stated that there is a ban on anyone under 16 buying or owning a pet but said pet shop owners routinely break the law, leading to an increase in the number of abandoned animals as youngsters are usually unable to assume the responsibility of keeping a pet. “People often buy pets as gifts for their children and friends, and later most of them want to get rid of them when they are bored with the animals, as if they were toys. For example, each summer most of the rich people who go to Alaçatı buy dogs for their children, and at the end of their holiday they leave the animals there.

HAYTAP President Ahmet Kemal Şenpolat told reporters that people buy animals from pet shops especially as New Year’s and birthday presents.


The head of the İstanbul Bar Association’s Animal Rights Commission, Hülya Yalçın, said people should think of the responsibility of owning an animal before buying one. “The animal is often the first thing to be abandoned when a couple breaks up, when people decide to move or when a couple has a baby,” added Yalçın.

There are currently 28 animal shelters in İstanbul. In December, İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Veterinary Affairs Department Director Mustafa Ün announced that the municipality is planning to build the world’s largest animal shelters in the Pendik and Kilyos districts of İstanbul with the capacity to house 20,000 animals in total. Stating there are almost 100,000 stray animals in İstanbul alone, Ün said: “It is impossible for us to gather those animals in natural habitat parks. Instead, we are going to build places to get them regularly vaccinated and neutered and put them back where we found them. We will only keep animals which are no longer able to survive on the streets, are sick or are aggressive towards people.”


Source Zaman.

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