AZ in de media

ActieZwerfhonden volgens Netty Dekker Collumniste
Huisgenoot en beste maatje Scarface is een zwerver. Wás een zwerver moet ik zeggen, want na acht jaar een krappe woning op het balkon bewoond te hebben, geniet hij nu alweer een jaar of wat van het binnenhuisbestaan. Hij heeft geluk gehad. Vele duizenden van zijn soortgenoten leven een zwervend bestaan. Als je het al een bestaan kunt noemen; in sommige provincies zijn ze zelfs vogelvrij.

Zwerfkatten hebben we in Nederland dus volop, maar roedels zwerfhonden zul je hier niet snel tegen het lijf lopen. Dat betekent niet dat Nederlanders geen honden dumpen. Integendeel. Het aantal op straat gevonden dieren neemt nog elk jaar schrikbarend toe. Het is dankzij ons goede asielsysteem dat deze dieren niet gedoemd zijn om levenslang op straat te blijven.

In het buitenland is dat wel anders. Je hoeft niet ver te reizen om geconfronteerd te worden met de kommer en kwel van zwerfdieren. Portugal, Spanje, Griekenland, Bulgarije, en dat is alleen nog maar in de EU. Ook Turkije heeft een gigantisch zwerfhondenprobleem, weet ook Linda Taal, initiatiefneemster van de Stichting ActieZwerfhonden.

Alleen al in Istanbul leven er naar schatting 100.000 honden op straat; een miljoen in heel Turkije. Acties van de gemeentes om de dieren te vergiftigen of te deporteren halen niets uit. Zoals gebeurt in alle populaties waarop gejaagd wordt, planten ze zich alleen maar sneller voort. Het doden van deze dieren is dus niet alleen wreed, het is ook nog eens hopeloos ineffectief.

Een betere en meer humane aanpak is het steriliseren en weer vrijlaten, de zogenaamde trap/catch, neuter and release-methode. Deze methode pakt het probleem bij de wortel aan: de voortplanting. Het is ook de aanpak die Taals stichting propageert en toepast. Maar er is meer nodig benadrukt ze. Het steriliseren verandert weinig aan het miserabele bestaan van de straatdieren.

Reden voor de stichting om zich intensief bezig te houden met educatie gericht op een mentaliteitsverandering bij de Turkse bevolking. Ook dieren verdienen
respect en bovenal compassie. In een dergelijk ‘klimaat’ zullen niet alleen zij, maar ook de mensen met wie ze hun stukje aarde delen gedijen. En dat geldt zeker niet alleen voor Turkije.

Netty Dekker

http://kortwegdekker.blogspot.com/2011/01/actiezwerfhonden.html KortwegDekker, een pagina met columns, bespiegelingen, observaties, en zielenroerselen. Prikkelende en onderhoudende tekstjes over allerlei zaken die de schrijver bezighouden, aan het denken zetten of irriteren. Hier vind je kattenkrabbels, gedachtekronkels, hersenspinsels, muizenissen over de schrijver zelf, haar poezelige vrienden en ander aaibaars, over medemensen en onze wereld. Kortom: dit is Kortweg Dekker!

© Deze tekst is gepubliceerd op kortwegdekker.blogspot.com en is eigendom van N.A.C. Dekker. Deze tekst mag op geen enkele manier worden gebruikt, zonder de uitdrukkelijke en voorafgaande schriftelijke toestemming van de auteur. dekkerredactie@planet.nl

AZ op ESSENT Intranet

Oude dekens en veel vrije tijd
Gabriele Janneschütz van RWE Technology in Essen doet haar uiterste best om te zorgen dat Nederlandse collega’s van Essent zich snel thuis voelen op de werkvloer. Ze vraagt ook iets terug: hulp voor ‘haar’ zwerfhonden.
Gabriele zet zich in haar vrije tijd met hart en ziel in voor de Stichting ActieZwerfhonden. Vijf jaar geleden kreeg ze via een Duitse stichting een hond uit een Turks asiel. ‘Mijn hond is eigenlijk een beetje familie van ons geworden. Ik wilde daarom heel graag meer voor de honden daar doen.’ Omdat de Duitse stichting inmiddels opgeheven was, zocht ze contact met de Nederlandse Stichting ActieZwerfhonden.

Pups
Gabriele gelooft in hun werkwijze. ‘Ze steriliseren de zwerfhonden en laten die vervolgens weer los in hun eigen omgeving. Zo heb je geen pups, en dus langs natuurlijke weg afname van het aantal zwerfhonden. In Turkije proberen ze de honden anders te vergiftigen. Helaas is het een overlevingsstrategie dat honden dan juist meer pups krijgen, waardoor het probleem alleen maar groter wordt en het welzijn van de honden sterk achteruit gaat.’ Daarom steunt Gabriele ActieZwerfhonden door hulpgoederen voor ze in te zamelen. De goederen gaan naar een particulier asiel in Istanbul en worden gebruikt bij sterilisatiecampagnes.

Garage vol
‘Mijn hele garage ligt inmiddels al vol met dekens’, zegt Gabriele lachend. ‘Dus we hebben nu vooral behoefte aan andere zaken. Denk aan spulletjes die dierenartsen nodig hebben om sterilisaties uit te voeren bij de honden, bijvoorbeeld operatiehandschoenen, injectiespuiten en naalden, maar vooral geld om in Turkije spullen aan te schaffen. Ook zijn we altijd op zoek naar vrijwilligers, bijvoorbeeld om vertalingen te verzorgen of om de gedoneerde spullen voor vertrek van een vlucht naar Schiphol te brengen.’ De Stichting ActieZwerfhonden heeft een aantal projecten lopen, waarvoor ze nog ondersteuning kunnen gebruiken.

Wil jij Gabriele helpen in haar strijd voor een beter leven voor de zwerfhonden in Turkije? Kijk dan op de site van de Stichting ActieZwerfhonden.

Stichting Zonnemaire haalt tweeduizend euro op voor Turkse zwerfhonden

dinsdag 06 november 2012 |

ZONNEMAIRE – De stichting ActieZwerfhonden uit Zonnemaire heeft 2088 euro opgehaald met een internetveiling.
Kopers konden bieden op kunstwerken die door kunstenaars gratis zijn ingebracht.
De opbrengst van de veiling komt ten goede aan aan zwerfhonden en asielhonden in Turkije. De honden worden ter plekke behandeld zodat ze zich niet meer voort kunnen planten. Daarna worden ze weer vrijgelaten. De stichting haalt geen honden naar Nederland.

Augustus Turkish Daily news

The sad state of strays
Saturday, August 30, 2008
ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News
A collective worldwide protest will take place Oct. 4 in many major cities around the world to highlight the treatment of stray animals in Turkey.
Protestors from Istanbul, London, Paris, Toronto, The Hague, Los Angeles and many other cities will protest outside Turkish consulates at precisely 2:00 p.m. GMT to send a message to Turkey demanding it prevents the killing of its stray animals.
The worldwide protest does not have any one organizing body, but rather individuals from many different organizations that care deeply about the issue. One such person, Linda Taal, founded the Dutch Stray Dogs Campaign (ActieZwerfhonden), which addresses the issue of stray dogs in Turkey, having already provided money, medical care and food to look after hundreds of dogs in shelters around the country.
Another contributor, Ipek Ruacan of the Çayyolu Preservation of Natural Life and Stray Animal Shelter Association in Ankara, spoke with the Turkish Daily News about the protest and the state of stray animals in Turkey.
Ruacan said she and the other protestors wanted to see “an end to problems like the mass animal graves that have been uncovered lately” and to see Turkey applying the Animal Rights Protection Law 5199.
She said the protestors were not pointing fingers at the government so much as criticizing the neglect of municipal authorities unwilling to do their jobs, opting for getting rid of the problem instead of addressing it by neutering the animals.
“One of two methods is usually employed by the municipalities. Either the animals are abandoned in a mountainous region of the wild to die of starvation or they are mass poisoned late at night,” she said, adding that this could be confirmed by the existence of controlled poisons used on strays that are not available to the populace.
Ruacan admited that part of the problem came from locals.
“Until very recently, if you tortured a stray dog, there would be no penalty, even if it was proven,” she said.
However, there was an important development recently when two puppies sleeping in a doghouse in Istanbul’s Kartal district were burned alive by little children, she said. Upon Ruacan’s and other animal lovers’ insistence that the state take action, the perpetrators were punished when the crime would have previously been ignored.
“Unfortunately, punishment for such cases is very exceptional, and only if millions of people complain,” she said.
She complained of the indifference of government to enforcing penalties, adding, “The [incident of the] two dogs burned alive in Kartal occurred in winter and the fine of YTL 1,200 per dog was just given recently.”
Fine law, bad implementation
Ruacan said while Turkey was being singled out for its treatment of strays, there was actually some hope for the animals.
“Bulgaria, an EU country, passed a law protecting an animal’s right to life just 6 to 7 months ago. In Turkey, we have had an extremely progressive law protecting animal rights since 2004. In some respects, we are better than some European countries, but the laws are just not enforced,” she said.
Law 5199 does follow the World Health Organization’s, or WHO, guidelines for dealing with stray animals, which govern catching, neutering and releasing, according to Ruacan. The WHO system was established after extensive scientific research to drastically reduce the stray animal problem.
Unfortunately, the problem would not go away until the municipalities start seeing enforcement of the law not as a burden but as a duty, Ruacan said, adding that there is some hope “as long as there is increased pressure from the people demanding the punishment of wrongdoers.”

 

 

Februari 2008

De Abolitionist online een magazine met informatie over dieren
rechten heeft een interview met Linda gepubliceerd.

TURKISH STRAY DOGS INTERVIEW
By Claudette Vaughan

We would like to know all about Turkey and the specific problems animals face there.

The attention of my foundation is mainly focused on stray dogs and dogs in shelters in Istanbul. Turkey has an incredible amount of stray cats and dogs. Some figures: There are approximately 150,000 stray dogs in Istanbul and approximately 30,000 dogs living in shelters. Turkey’s three largest cities (Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul) have over 500,000 stray dogs together. Because of lack of education, many people are not aware of the fact that animals do have emotions and do experience pain. Due to misinterpretation of the Quran, dogs are considered dirty animals. There is only one humane and structural solution to the stray dog problem, which is Neuter and Release, but because of neglect and corruption the problem hasn’t been solved yet. Dogs are abused, and most of the time, the abusers are not prosecuted, and even if they are, the penalties are low. The majority of the 30,000 dogs that are living in shelters are locked up in a municipal shelter; places with more than a 1,000 dogs, that hardly receive any (medical) care or food. There has been a law since June 2006 obliging municipalities to solve their stray dogs problem by means of catch, neuter, vaccinate and return. Most of the cities don’t comply with the law and in the rare case that they do, it is not done in the right way. Animals that are caught are not fed, are not neutered professionally and are afterwards dumped in desolated places to starve of hunger and thirst, instead of being released in their original territory again. Citizens are afraid of the strays and chase them.

What does your and your organization do?

Voor het hele artikel klik hier

December 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007
Stray dogs in Turkey are finding friends and supporters in Europe. European foundations are raising support to neuter and vaccinate the dogs and send them back to the streets they came from. Those that are too weak to stay on the streets, are finding homes in loving European homes

DAMARIS KREMIDA
ISTANBUL – Turkish Daily News

Not long ago, on a November Tuesday morning while Hank Cuffs, a Dutch native was looking out of his apartment window in Kurtköy he saw something that deeply affected him. While observing his apartment complex’s garden he saw a bitch carrying her puppies one by one in her mouth through the fence.

“Tuesday evening I was surfing the Internet to find an organization that would take care of puppies like these,” said Cuffs. “To my surprise I found a foundation in Holland. That night I sent a message, and on Wednesday morning I had a reply.” By the next weekend, the puppies and their mother were safe in a Turkish dog shelter in Istanbul’s Kemerburgaz area. Now Cuffs is trying to get as much attention as possible to enable this Dutch foundation to contribute even further toward finding the solution for the problem of stray dogs in Turkey. Next week he will speak on a national Dutch radio show to help raise more funds. “I’ve always loved animals… that was part of our education in Holland and in our family we have animals… they also have a life and it should be as humane as possible,” said Cuffs.

“I was touched by the devotion of the people there for the animals. I had never been confronted with this problem of stray dogs in Istanbul before,” he said.

At the Society for the Protection of Stray Animals – Sahipsiz Hayvanlari Koruma Dernegi (SHKD) – shelter in Kemerburgaz, Murat Bekhan, 35, a veterinarian and manager of the shelter showed the Turkish Daily News the hundreds of dogs that live there. In fenced off yards, the dogs are free to run around, play, eat, and explore the nature around them. He points to a dog that is frantically wagging its tail and running in mad circles at a safe distance. “That one is Sibel,” said Bekhan. “When we found her, she had lived on a 50 centimeter leash for the whole of her life.” Two foreign women come with sausages for the dogs – a special rare treat – and greet Murat and the dogs. The women from Holland and Germany are married to businessmen who work in Istanbul and come every two weeks to pet the dogs, give them love and treats and hang out with them. “They have worked so much on Sibel,” he said.

The Turkish stray dog problem in Turkey is grave and overwhelming, said Bekhan. In Istanbul’s European side alone, he estimated there are about 100,000 stray dogs.

The issue has drawn so much attention in Europe that the wife of European Commission Vice President Günter Verheugen, who is an ambassador of good will for an animal protection organization Pro Animale, visited an animal shelter in the western city of Bursa and visited Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas in Istanbul. The two spoke about the situation of stray dogs in Turkey. Verheugen’s wife even adopted a dog from the Bursa shelter and named her Nilu, a short form of the Turkish name Nilüfer.

Cuffs is just one example of Europeans who have become strong advocates for Turkish dogs. Linda Taal, 52, is the founder of the organization Cuffs discovered online, dedicated solely to Turkish strays. Taal founded the Stray Dogs Campaign four years ago when whilst looking for a dog to adopt she found another Dutch foundation that brought dogs from countries like Turkey. Their aim is to make Europeans and Turks aware of how many stray dogs there are in Turkey, raise funds for them and help solve the problem. “The best thing is to neuter the dog and then release it where you found it,” said Taal. “If you catch and kill or imprison, you will never solve the problem,” she said as other dogs will just move into the neighborhood. “Some can’t be returned because they are too weak or old… these kinds of dogs end up in a shelter and should be treated properly.” It is dogs like these that have ended up at the SHKD shelter. “For these dogs, re-homing is the best solution… how would you feel if you were in prison for the rest of your life?”

Through Taal’s program Europeans can distance-“adopt” a Turkish dog for 20 euros a month. In the last three years she has been able to raise about 80,000 euros in order to support in kind Turkish dog shelters. A Turkish law prohibits foundations from directly receiving money from foreign sources. Although her foundation doesn’t get involved in re-homing, The TDN found four organizations in Germany, two in Holland and England along with about a dozen individuals who want to help Turkey take care of its stray dog problem from Antalya, to Kusadasi, to Istanbul, through shelters and re-homing. Bekhan estimated that every year his shelter alone sends around 100 dogs to Europe.

The support from Europe baffles some Turks. “Why are they interested in Turkish dogs?” asked a Turkish resident of Istanbul’s Sariyer district who wished to remai
n anonymous. Taal on the other hand said from a foreigner’s perspective the Turkish treatment of dogs is “unbelievable” and “terrible.” “Most Turks don’t really know what an animal is like, that it needs love,” said Taal.

Turks working with stray dogs in Turkey say they have countered much suspicion from Turks and local authorities about all this “dog business.” Bilge Okay, member of the SHKD board said the mentality is that if foreigners or Turks are this interested in dogs they must be up to something fishy. “They are missionaries, spies, drug dealers,” are the accusations the organizers of the shelter have heard the most. “They are looking for conspiracy theories,” said Okay. On Dec. 4 Turkish language daily Milliyet reported that officials stopped two tourists in Izmir from leaving the country with two stray dogs they found during their visit. The tourists didn’t have the necessary official documents for the dogs. Nesrin Çitirik of the Protection of Nature and Animals Foundation claimed that some sell them as medical test subjects in their home countries, others take photos of the dogs to prove how badly they are treated in Turkey, and then make money through organized campaigns, reported Milliyet.

The Turkish resident of Sariyer said a pack of large dogs have been menacing his street for years. “They chase us and bark at us and try to bite us.” When he called the Sariyer Municipality six months ago requesting the city get rid of them, he was shocked by their response. “They said they couldn’t take them away. They can only neuter them and vaccinate them, tag them and bring them back to their environment,” he said. “The stray dogs problem in Turkey is really bad. I don’t want those dogs in my street. I can’t send my 7-year-old son to the grocer alone.”

Bekhan said very few dogs are violent in nature, and should be kept in shelters. But the majority of them can be rehabilitated to live with humans. Although Turks have a long history of friendship with dogs through the Kangal, a shepherd dog, and in the last 20 years animal shops and pet veterinarians have opened practices, most Turks would not bring a stray dog into their home. Northern Europeans and Americans, on the other hand, are quicker to incorporate them in their families. “As you see foreigners are more interested in dogs, more sympathetic and concerned. But for Turks… culturally they are not that interested. They’re not used to having dogs as pets,” said Okay. At the shelter in Kemerburgaz, Bekhan showed the TDN dogs on the rehabilitation/re-homing track, outside of cages trailing behind the shelter keepers. “We leave them out so they can get used to us, and living around humans,” he said. The dogs pass scrutinizing behavioral and physical tests before they are sent overseas, the only homes that seem to want them. If they are fit for adoption, Bekhan sends their photo to the agencies he works with overseas, along with the dog’s story and medical history. “Then I wait,” he said. Currently 100 dogs are waiting for adoption, but the requests are slow. Once five dogs are adopted, he can buy their plane ticket, visas, pay for their medical examination and ship them. The process is expensive at 3,500 euros for a pack of five, but he and the SHKD’s members said it is worth it.

“Instead of the dogs spending all their lives in a prison, they can be part of a family. When we see pictures of the dogs in the families, we feel the joy of having saved the dog’s life,” said Oktay. “In Turkey it is impossible to re-home a dog.”

Bekhan who in the nearly 10 years he has done this work has never had support from his municipality and has had to fight against Turkish realities that are not friendly toward dogs or those who love them said this is his only comfort: Re-homing.

“Re-homing gives me wonderful fruit. Since 1998 I’ve done this for nothing. I’m a human and I get discouraged and I want to give up. But when I see a photo of a lady with a dog, I’m happy and it gives me more energy… when you find a dog in bad condition and you treat it, then you want the next step,” said Bekhan.

The SHKD’s members said the next step for them is education, which they hope will be more fruitful in terms of changing mentalities about dogs in Turkey, and helping further to deal with the stray dog problem in Turkey.

Gelukkig wordt er op de radio, in tijdschriften, op de tv en in de krant, regelmatig aandacht aan ActieZwerfhonden en haar activiteiten besteed.

Klik op de foto voor een groter formaat.