Sometimes, we just dive into a project without much planning. Simply because the situation seems desperate and we don't stop to think about the long term.
Over the past week or so, I have begun to realise that if I don't stop, take stock, and plan properly, then things will get out of control.
Mr A and I are passionate about helping as many dogs on the streets as is humanly possible. We will never give up, but we have to be realistic.
There are animal rescue and welfare groups in other areas in Turkey and I follow their pages on Facebook. I have gained much useful advice along the way, as well as adopting Monty and Tommy from one of these groups.
These groups plan their winter feeding programmes properly. They have much more experience than I do, and they are more realistic about what can and can't be done. They know, as I do, that winter time is the most harsh for these animals, so they raise money, and their groups of volunteers go out every day to feed. As the winter comes to an end, they gradually reduce the feeding to every 2 days, then 3 and so on, so that when summer arrives, and there is more food around from restaurants etc, the animals will continue to eat. Then the programme starts up again the following winter.
We are isolated where we live. No-one around here is interested in helping the dogs...just Mr A and I. We are also not near a tourist area, so cannot rely on visitors to feed dogs during the summer. But there will be more units up and running on the industrial estate, and those already there are helping sometimes with their scraps, particularly the café owner, who is the man with one of the 7 pups. He is saving scraps for all the other dogs too, so this is very useful.
With the addition of the three pups from the litter of 7, we now have 9 rescues to look after at home. They are being vaccinated at regular intervals, de-flead, wormed, etc. We have done the same so far for all the other pups that have been homed, and hope we can continue. We had intended to get the mum spayed by our vet on Wednesday, but as I mentioned in an earlier post, she wasn't around, so we gave up. She has been back since, and we are still intending to get her to our vet at some point. To be perfectly honest, it was a relief that this didn't happen on Wednesday, because there just wasn't enough money in the pot.
I have some regular donations coming in every month from 5 lovely people, amounting to a total of £55. This covers the food, but not much more. A few more donations have trickled through, and this has been a great help and I am very grateful.
We know that we cannot keep relying on others' generosity, so we have to plan ahead. We will start this week to reduce the feeding visits to the industrial estate. This will free up some of the food money to help towards the cost of vaccinations, worm and flea treatments which are essential. It's no use just feeding animals if you can't help to avoid the spread of disease. It isn't something I'm particularly happy to do, but we have got these dogs through the worst period of the year. We will also attempt to ask as many people as possible locally to provide us with food scraps to supplement the feeding. It's not ideal, but it's the best we can do. We also need to get as many females spayed as possible, and Mr A is still putting pressure on the Belediye vet to get this started. Hopefully when the local elections are out of the way (which seem to be taking over everything else) then it might be easier to get this done.
We have to get a proper kennel for the three pups today. The wooden one has proved to be unsuitable. It's getting wet inside with all the rain, and wood isn't easy to keep clean. We will be getting a large plastic one from our vet, which can be moved around the garden easier and provide better shelter for the pups, and can be cleaned easily. He will let us have it at cost price, and he will wait for payment. I don't expect donations for this, because it is our choice and something we want to do for the new additions to our dog family.
But if anyone can help with a small donation towards all other costs, please go to the Paypal button at the top of the blog. Anything you can manage, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated.
This has been a learning experience for us. We will make mistakes along the way, but we have no intention of giving up.