When my existing rescued dogs first started to arrive, my lovely Beki and gorgeous Poppy were still alive.
Megan turned up outside my gate, very thin, exhausted and hungry. We fed her outside the gate. Sammy started arriving each day with her, also very hungry. At this time Sammy belonged to the women with sheep just down the hill from us. He was about a year old, and they had had him since he was a puppy. I had several run-ins with them over the fact that they kept him on a short chain, with not enough shade, inadequate food and little water. In fact some of you may remember that one day I released him from his chain in front of them, and was soon surrounded by other neighbours looking a bit bemused.
I tried to tell them that there was no need to keep him chained up. They only had him there to guard their property, but if they fed him well, gave him water, and treated him kindly, he wouldn't leave them. They took notice for a few days, but then chained him up again. It was at least a longer chain, in shade, and they remembered to give him water every day.
So when he turned up at my gate each day with Megan, I fed him too. After about a week I decided to adopt Megan, but I felt sure that I should take Sammy as well. Mr A said yes we should, and he told the sheep women in no uncertain terms that because they had neglected him, he was now ours. They didn't argue. Although several weeks later when he was looking considerably healthier they asked to take him back. By this time we had paid for them both to be vaccinated, had flea and worm treated them, and they had been neutered. So the answer was no, he was now our dog.
Over the next few months Blondie arrived, then Freddie. We adopted Monty and Tommy from animal groups in other areas, then earlier this year we rescued the three pups, Dave, Chas and Melek.
I have noticed in recent weeks that the sheep women have another dog. He is kept on a chain, where Sammy used to be, and when I pass he seems relatively OK. However, yesterday morning around 6am, I set off down the hill to feed the dogs in the village. I heard the dog whimpering as soon as I turned the corner. He was not in his usual place, but up the hill slightly away from the sheep women's house, tied with thin rope around his neck, attached to a telegraph pole. The rope was so short he couldn't move. I went up to investigate. He was very distressed. He was standing in his own excrement because he had no choice, and there was no water.
I was so angry. I gave him a handful of biscuits, then proceeded to try and undo the rope. It was very difficult because it had been knotted so many times. I persisted, actually making my fingers very sore, until I had loosened enough of the knots to force the rope over his head. He yelped as I squashed his ears, poor little thing, but did not once try to bite me. He ran down the hill to a water bowl and drank it dry. (Actually this dog could be female. I'm not sure, because I was so anxious about setting him free, I didn't look).
I then realised that the sheep women, the man of the house, and the kids were all out on their balcony watching me. The man just glared at me. I glared back. He said "good morning" in English. Probably the only words he knows. I told him as best I could in my limited Turkish, that this dog shouldn't be tied up like this. He/she should be kept next to the house in the shade with water and food. He didn't say much, although I didn't give him much of a chance to say anything, but he kept nodding in agreement. I threw in "cok ayip" a few times (which roughly translates as "shame on you"), then I set off to the village.
I don't know if this dog has returned to the sheep women, as I haven't been down there since yesterday. I'll know later.
The problem is that when you give advice to these people, they just pay lip service. They make an attempt to do the right thing for a couple of days, then it's back to their normal neglectful treatment.
It's incredibly frustrating, and I'm not sure if I'll ever get through to them, as long as I live.