Perihan Agnelli Chair of Fethiye Friends of Animals Association writes about her efforts to educate pet owners.

Perihan Agnelli Chair of Fethiye Friends of Animals Association writes about her efforts to educate pet owners.

After 9 years of intensive work to reduce the number of strays in Fethiye, we have been very successful.

There are no more un-neutered stray dogs on our streets which prove that Neuter & Return is effective if done intensively and continuously.

We are now facing a big problem which is what to do with the ignorance and lack of education of private dog owners.

There seems to be a national reluctance on the part of dog owners to have their dogs neutered.

We are being overwhelmed with unwanted puppies born to privately owned dogs being brought to us for homing.

The 2 boys, pictured above, brought 9 puppies, without the mother, to our Centre. They promised they would bring the mother for neutering later.

Our personnel, Deniz, Abdulrahman and Gokce will have to make sure these beautiful puppies are re-homed.

As a non-government organisation our focus was initially the stray dogs in the streets and the control of that population.

With this new burden, educating the public will take many years for the message to get through.

{mosimage}As you can see, the public are bringing their puppies, sometimes with the mother, and expecting me to be happy and grateful to the owners for bringing their unwanted litters to our Centre.

If we refused to take them I know they would be abandoned on the street, which would result in the next generation of un-neutered stray dogs on the streets. The perpetual cycle.

{mosimage}Unwanted cats and new-born kittens are also brought to our Centre.

Our personnel, Ahmet and his father, our dog-catcher, Cuma, are busy with calls from closed hotels and restaurants where crowds of cats and kittens are left to fend for themselves after the tourist season.

We are providing the public with information leaflets which outlines the responsibilities of dog owners, according to the Animal Protection Law.

Also I am constantly talking with the local TV and news media trying to inform people about their responsibilities.

You can find out more about the Fethiye Friends of Animals Association at the website .

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