The city of Istanbul has a long history of street dogs. The city has endured many conquerors and so have it’s street dogs. From Ottoman times up to the present, street dogs have been as much a part of the fabric of this city as the Bosporus. Mark Twain, in his travel book “The Innocents Abroad,” couldn’t help but notice the pitiful condition of the strays when he visited Istanbul in 1897. He said, “In their faces is a settled expression of melancholy, an air of hopeless despondency.”
Turkey is a “no-kill” country which means therere is an abundance of dogs that roam aimlessly and often struggling to survive. To help control the dog population, municipalities around the country form teams that capture, sterilize, and vaccinate against rabies. Before the dogs are returned to the places where they were captured, their ears are pierced with a tag which acts as a visual sign to the public and municipality workers. This form of population control is an alternative solution to the mass poisoning methods that were previously used.
Additionally, owning a purebred dog is considered a status symbol. But in areas where most people live in apartments, it’s not uncommon for dog owners to become overwhelmed by the responsibility and, therefore, abandon their dogs in the street or drive them to desolate dumping grounds. These dogs are not feral animals. They are innocent, abandoned pets unaccustomed to street life.
Street Dog Pals is devoted and passionate about saving dogs and it is in this part of the world that we hope to alter the fabric. Our efforts are focused on removing unwanted, homeless and discarded dogs from the streets, forests, and various dumping grounds of Turkey and bringing them to the U.S. in hopes of finding kindhearted, dog-loving homes.
We are dedicated to protecting each dog we rescue and will only adopt to people who are committed to doing the same. We expect that when you adopt from us, you will treat your new dog as a member of the family. We do not always know the circumstances under which a dog was found. The information we receive usually comes after a dog arrived at a care facility and is assessed by medical personnel. Details such as age and breed (including breed mixes) are based on physical appearance only. Dogs receive physical evaluations by medical personnel and are treated as necessary and practicable, given all of the limitations and challenges. Sometimes dogs have unexplained trauma such as broken bones, missing body parts, or skin inflictions. Regardless, they are given the best care possible and because of their incredibly forgiving dispositions, most dogs retain their zest for life. We trust that you have fully considered your motive for adoption and will embrace your new dog regardless of any physical or character flaws.