Municipalities in Istanbul, Turkey, are taking action to rescue stray animals from the worst snowstorm in the city in almost a decade.
Although the extreme weather poses an inconvenience to many citizens, for the city’s stray animal population, it can mean sure death. But in an act of humanity, the people of Istanbul have banded together to provide shelter and food for these helpless cats and dogs.
Büyükçekmece Municipality installed cat shelters in locations where large populations of cats reside, along with the slogan, “a cat house for each neighborhood.”
Büyükçekmece Mayor Hasan Akgün also announced that more cat shelters would be provided to areas if a demand for them comes from residents, but he also said that a rehabilitation and treatment center with the capacity for 5000 animals was also needed.
Esenler and Kadikoy Municipality also erected blue cat houses all over parks and filled them with food and water for the animals. Citizens pitched in and keep the food and water fresh for the animals.
In addition, Kadikoy Municipality organized a “Cat Shelter Festival” where residents are required to build small houses for cats and place them in appropriate places. Children at the municipality’s Ismail Hakki Tonguc Nursery School also built cat shelters from plastic and card boards.
And it’s not just the government that has been doing its part to save the animals.
Local shop and business owners have opened their doors to animals seeking shelter from the cold, including one Selcuk Bayal, who has received criticism from customers for inviting animals inside.
“We are human, and these creatures are entrusted to us by God. “We are responsible for looking after them,” he said.
Worst snowstorm in years just hit Istanbul, and this is how people are helping stray animals: https://t.co/I5Fi0cHLAQ— Why So Serious? (@JustForFun7405) January 12, 2017
For people, who dislike shopping with cats afoot, Bayal has placed a sign outside his shop windows that proclaims, “Those who are bothered by cats, do not shop here!”
Groups of shoppers have also been placing cardboard boxes inside a local mall for stray dogs and puppies and covering them with blankets. They also donated food so that the animals would not go hungry.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters