Göcek Friends of Animals and Environment Association

Feridun, the Caretaker at the Shelter

Please have a look at the link: http://youtu.be/aGWQqHrCWOY This is a film made by a volunteer and her husband in June 2012 -just to give you an idea about the Shelter .

As most of you know Göcek Friends of Animals and Environment Association has been running since 1998. We started with a hand full of  people and now we have 40 members.

Although we have extended the number of our members we still have the same small number of dedicated people who are actively involved. In reality it seems very few people are aware of what we do and how we do it. Basically we have been rescuing, neutering, vaccinating, cleaning and trying to rehome strays and abandoned dogs for 11 years. We have been trying to educate the locals about the benefits of neutering their animals, providing a secure home for them etc. which in many cases proves difficult. We also provide shelter for those unfortunate animals which we found abandoned on the streets.

Where possible, working in conjunction with recognized European Foundations we rehome these animals in a loving environment mainly in Holland and Germany. People regularly question us about the rehoming idea. In particular we are asked why it is necessary, and possible, to send animals abroad. To clarify this, we would like to make the following points :

  1. Nobody wants them here.
  2. Nobody wants to even foster them.
  3. Nobody wants them on the streets either, although they are neutered and vaccinated so we have to look after them as best as possible. As Göcek is such a small place we do not have the luxury to neuter and let them free.
  4. To take the dogs of the street obviously we have to take them somewhere. That is why we provide sheltered accommodation for these unfortunate and unwanted dogs here in Göcek. Currently as we said above we have over 100 of these poor dogs in our shelter.
  5. The dogs in the shelter are looked after by one over worked care taker and a few volunteer members of the association. Obviously we will never find homes locally for these dogs so we are very fortunate to have the opportunity of rehoming them with the help of  very highly respected animal welfare foundations. We have tried to rehome them locally. We either found them chained up to a tree 24/7, under the bare sun without a drop of water and a piece of mouldy bread or found them ditched back in the shelter.
  6. Whilst we are fortunate in finding families in Europe who will take some of our dogs, there is an ongoing problem  that more turn up here also needing care attention and rehoming as we are not only dealing with Göcek strays but also Dalaman and almost all the villages from Gocek and the surrounding area.
  7. For those who are really interested, our main support comes from the Animal Association International Foundation in Holland (www.stichtingaai.nl).

Rehoming works as follows:

  1. You all know that we are told about the animals in distress. So the first step is to go and catch them.
  2. If the animal is truly in trouble and obviously in bad condition with no owner we take it under the wing of the association, first to the clinic for a general check up, vaccinations, neutering etc. then to the shelter. If they are too small, weak, vulnerable or scared we initially keep them in a pet pension run by a qualified Vet.
  3. Once the dog is healthy and strong enough we take pictures, write a short description and all this information is sent to the AAI.
  4. The AAI process the info and the dog is posted on their website.
  5. Then starts the waiting process until a suitable family shows interest.
  6. If somebody chooses a dog AAI lets us know. They organize flights, volunteers to come to Turkey, while we organize the blood tests, microchips and all the paperwork needed for the dog to travel safely.
  7. Obviously this is not a cheap exercise. Fortunately AAI has the resources to pay for flights and has the volunteers who would fly to Turkey. During the summer season we also have holiday makers who volunteer to assist.
  8. When the dogs reach their destination their new families welcome them at the airport. The dogs always stay under the supervision of AAI. We get regular updates, pictures, videos etc from the new owners.