Animal Rescue Kusadasi (ARK) was founded in 2018 to provide desperately needed support to Kusadasi’s street animals. It is formally registered and monitored. Since then it’s been a constant challenge to generate funding in order to respond to the animals’ plight – to be able to provide veterinary care, food and other support clearly doesn’t come cheap. The high level of inflation is a major challenge, preceded by the impact of Covid, which dramatically reduced the number of tourists coming to Kusadasi, as well as resulting in restaurants having to close for significant periods. Many restaurants are an invaluable source of food for street animals.
Visitors to Kusadasi (and other parts of Turkey) aren’t likely to understand why there are so many animals that live on the streets and are entirely dependent on the kindness of local people. In addition to needing food and water, they are vulnerable to illnesses, road accidents and other dangers. If they aren’t neutered they will also be reproducing, bringing puppies and kittens into their own challenging environments.
In Turkey the local/regional government (belediye) is required to operate (and fund) animal shelters. Not surprisingly, the standard of these will vary considerably. The Kusadasi shelter is situated around 15 minutes out of town, heading towards Aydin. It has improved considerably over the years and is now well managed. In addition, the Belediye purchased two vehicles (haybulans) which can be called upon to provide medical attention on the streets. However, budgets are tight and demand is considerable. Also, although the shelter employs veterinary staff, they don’t have access to the full range of equipment they would need to be able to provide medical care in many cases.
The shelter’s role is very different from the animal shelters in western countries. Although they encourage people to adopt animals from the shelter, most animals won’t be so lucky….. most will be returned to the street if they’re healthy enough, though many will stay at the shelter. They aren’t euthanised, so animals who aren’t able to be returned to the street (including disabled animals) are destined to spend the rest of their days there, unless they are lucky enough to be adopted.
Dogs which have been into the shelter and are then released back onto the street will have a plastic tag in their ear. They will have been neutered during their time at the shelter. Cats which have been neutered at the shelter have the tip of one of their ears cut off before being returned to the street.
Neutering is clearly key to controlling the growing population of street animals, though the shelter can currently only conduct a limited number of these, while also providing medical assistance to sick and injured animals – removing limbs, removing damaged eyes, trying to combat diseases etc etc. The demand is unrelenting.
*The shelter neuters a limited number of street animals weekly, by prior arrangement directly with the shelter. Tel: +90 538 788 49 40
If you’re considering providing an animal with a loving home, see the kusadasi animals in need of homes/Kusadasi YuvaArayanlar Facebook group. Click on link below
ARK is entirely dependent on the kindness of people making donations and on a team of volunteers, who approve veterinary intervention when the shelter isn’t able to provide the care an animal needs; who volunteer their time at the shelter; who arrange fund-raising activities etc etc. New volunteers are always welcome. Would you like to help?
ARK’s work is unrelenting and in many cases emotionally draining….
ARK is required to have a committee of 16, 5 of whom are legally accountable for its affairs (the equivalent of trustees in a charity). Retaining that number of people is clearly challenging, though having a large group of committed people who are passionate about animal welfare is essential if ARK is to continue and if it is to fulfil its objectives.
At an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of ARK last month a significant number of new committee members were appointed. Thankfully, Ann Kennedy continues in the role of President of ARK, though is delighted that new members have come aboard. The first meeting of the new committee was held the week after the EGM. The enthusiasm and energy of those present was superb. There’s much to do, including upgrading the future will no doubt continue to be extremely challenging (not least financially), though the more that people become aware of ARK’s work the more can be done ….
Some of the volunteer committee from ARK
Please consider making a donation to help ARK to give love and care to Kusadasi’s street animals.
If you are within Turkey simply use the link below to donate direct to our the bank account. In case of difficulty, please WhatsApp +905075638416.