You may have heard that Istambul is a city where cats are the real top dogs. Cats rule the city. But dogs are equally loved in the this city. They just need to know that cats need to be in the spotlight and enjoy being the sidekick. When walking the streets of Istanbul you are bound to see food and water left outside for street animals. That’s a sigs how Turks go far and beyond to care for stray animals.
Why are street animals are treated with care and respect in Istanbul? Taking care of stray animals is actually a very old tradition among Turks dating back to Ottoman Empire. There were people who would get paid to go around neighborhoods and feed animals. Butchers would also be given monthly wages to feed cats and dogs. Hospitals were set up for the treatment of cats, dogs and birds. There was even a rehabilitation centres in Bursa for birds that would fall, tired and sick during migration.
It is still possible to see birdhouses and fountains on the facades of old Ottoman-era mosques and even in grave yards.
This tradition still lives on. Many municipalities around Turkey have veterinary clinics, and their sole aim is to treat street animals free of charge. These clinics have operating rooms, x-ray rooms, laboratory and post-operative rooms.
This veteranian explains about their new patient today was a kitten, they found him in the street. He seemed sick and was brought to the clinic. He has a bit of anemia and weakness. They started the treatment immediately. We had to put him on the drip and he was given some blood forming drugs. My prediction is that he will be well in a week or two veteranian said. On average, clinic gets 120 to 150 examinations and treatments veteranian explained. Apart from giving general operations, we do around 10 to 15 neutering operations as well as fracture operations, eye operations and sometimes hernia operations.
We have variety of animals come in here almost every day, from cats and dogs to swifts, squirrels, owls, eagles, goats, sheep and chickens. But the most interesting of one was an iguana.
Governments has provided some clinics dedicated ambulances for stray animals.