Inclement weather threatening the human population across Turkey is more dangerous for stray animals, who can struggle to find food, water or a warm place to hide from the elements. The plight that befell them amid the ongoing cold spell is being addressed by charities and authorities but the danger is not over. In the eastern province of Erzurum, one of the coldest places in Turkey, municipality crews saved 63 puppies from certain death on Thursday while animal lovers in the easternmost province Iğdır rescued eight newborn pups abandoned in a rural area.
It is unclear who abandoned the dogs but they are now in the safe hands of vets and in shelters provided by municipalities and animal lovers. In Erzurum, crews reached out to 63 puppies discovered along a road connecting the central province to its Çat district. Shivering puppies were taken by the municipality’s animal shelter staff and fed. Mayor Mehmet Sekmen told reporters that the puppies were taken to the shelter when a local sent a video message to the municipality’s online call center about the plight of the dogs. He said they treated the dogs, which were about to freeze to death, after they were found by the rescuers.
In Iğdır, where the temperatures reached around 3 degrees Celsius (about 37 degrees Fahrenheit) Thursday, eight puppies were rescued by municipality crews and are being cared for by the staff of a local charity helping animals at the municipality’s shelter. Puppies saved from death were treated in the intensive care unit for animals at the shelter. Tenzile Eroğlu, head of the charity, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the puppies were without their mother when they were found in a mountainous area. “They wouldn’t be alive if we had not reached them in time,” she said.
Though authorities offer shelter for homeless people during winter, shelters for animals have limited capacity in some provinces. In the northwestern province of Kocaeli, the local chamber of vets decided to open all veterinary clinics to stray cats for winter starting on Thursday. Cats will be given food and treatment in clinics as the chamber called upon locals to alert them if they find stray cats under risk amid winter conditions.
“Animals are affected as much as human beings in winter. Cats can survive without food for up to eight hours but they need food and shelter,” he told Ihlas News Agency (IHA). He also advised people to build small sheds for stray animals from cardboard and similar materials to provide a temporary shelter for them if they cannot take them to clinics.
“They should also feed them proper cat food instead of giving them leftovers as rotten meals can affect their health,” he said.
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