Thursday, June 30, 2011

We have been talking about stray cats, and their over population. I want to share with you my experience I had while in Turkey and Greece last fall.

I was shocked how many stray animals there were on the streets. From the ancient ruins of the Acropolis in Greece: to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Being a technician I noticed that many of these cats had an ear clipped, which in the States means they have been spayed or neutered (part of a “trap & release program) Now I know it is recognized in other countries as well. The dogs appeared to have their ears tagged.

I asked the locals around, to try to get more information. “Who does this? The government? “This was harder to find out then you might think. I do not speak Turkish or Greek, and many locals did not understand what I was asking in English. The program to care for these animals is run purely by volunteers and donations to keep these animals altered so that the population can be controlled. Again take with a grain of salt, as the translation might be off. But the end result is: They are much loved and taken care of by the community as well as the tourists.

It was fun to see many of the businesses had one or two cats. They would not call them their own, but the shopkeepers would tell you the cats’ name and the cat would nap in the same store, on the same rug everyday! Even one of the hotels I stayed at had a mascot dog that slept by the bellhop.

The restaurants seamed to have families of cats. They owners did not seem to mind. Again not being able to speak Turkish or Greek it was hard to tell.

What I did get out of one waitress was:” just don’t put the meat on the ground, place it on a napkin, or the floor gets greasy.”

I wanted to find out more about these programs once I returned home. I only came across one article from a behaviorist who spoke at a conference in Turkey. They had more facts on the stray animals. It is more about the dogs, but I still found interesting.

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