You may recall that several weeks ago we were informed by the Muhtar that the dogs in the village had been rounded up by the Belediye and taken to the Milas shelter, where they were to be neutered, ear-tagged, then returned to the village.
They never returned to the village and I'm afraid we feared the worst. Maybe someone in the village had disposed them, and the Muhtar was lying. Also there were still at least four dogs remaining who had either not been rounded up by the Belediye, or who had somehow managed to escape the fate of the others.
I have continued to feed these dogs, whilst waiting for Mr A to finish his job in Gumbet so that we could make plans for getting these dogs neutered.
I go down to feed early in the morning. Sometimes the dogs are there, and sometimes not, but I leave food in different areas for them to find. It's getting dark quite early now, so I have been reluctant to go down in the evening. I don't relish the idea of walking past the teahouses and the glares of the men, and it's not the done thing for a lone female to be wandering around the village after dark.
Mr A has been back home this past week, preparing to start up his new building and maintenance business, and has already undertaken one job. Fingers crossed it takes off.
After a busy day in the garden yesterday, he went down to the teahouse last night to relax with his friends. He was pleasantly surprised....in fact shocked...to discover 4 of the original village dogs, complete with ear-tags. So the Belediye had collected them after all. They had been returned to the village yesterday. As usual, Mr A had dog food in the car so was able to feed them.
This is very promising. As soon as Bayram is over, we will be trying to get the un-neutered dogs done. If we have problems getting the Belediye to do this, we will use our own vet. I just want all these dogs to be safe and healthy.
Mr A was told a story by a friend last night. He said that about four years ago a man in the village shot his own dog because it was sick, rather than get vetinerary help. Apparently, as the story goes, the man was reported, taken away, and put in prison for 6 months. I have doubts about whether the story is true, but even if it's not, the story has spread, and seems to be acting as a deterrent to others who might consider shooting the dogs.
We have also been up to the industrial estate, and found 9 dogs still there. These are some of the same dogs that were there when we started feeding them last winter. They are looking healthy and we know this is because the cafe owner kept his promise to continue feeding them with his leftovers. We will be dropping off sacks of dog food to him on a regular basis from now on to supplement the leftovers. We are of course expecting more dogs to appear. This is how it goes, and we want to be prepared.
We are now into October and will be starting up the feeding programme in earnest. Winter is the harshest time for the street animals and we aim to make sure that the village and industrial estate dogs are fed every day throughout the coming months. This cannot be done without your help, and I am so grateful for your donations, which have enabled us to continue. It is an ongoing project of course, so donations, no matter how small, are always welcome. (See the Paypal button at the top of this page.)
You could say that I am quietly optimistic today!