Readers know about Marmaris animal welfare efforts but what about Fethiye?

As regular readers of The Post will know we have reported several times about the Dogs Home run by the Marmaris municipality and about the Cat Shelter in Marmaris run by Jeannie Thirkill.

However until recently we were not aware of the excellent work being done in the Fethiye area by the ‘Fethiye Friends of Animals Association’. We were prompted to find our more about what happens to Fethiye’s stray cats when we received letters from readers who were on holiday in and around Fethiye and who were upset about seeing large numbers of street cats and kittens desperately begging for food around hotels, apartments and restaurants. Once we started asking questions we soon found out that Fethiye is home to one of Turkey’s most respected and active animal welfare organisations.

{mosimage}The Fethiye Friends of Animals Association (Fethiye Hayvan Dostlari Dernegi – FHDD) is a ground breaking organisation that has been involved for the last six years in improving the life of stray dogs and cats in the Fethiye area and indeed helping the animal welfare cause all over Turkey. Their facility is situated on the main road to Uzumlu just outside Fethiye and is set in 43 hectares of land that was donated by Fethiye Council. The chair of the FHDD is retired business lady, Mrs. Perihan Agnelli, who runs the Centre with a full-time paid staff of two veterinarians, and four wardens. The association is sponsored by the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust (www.marchigawt.org) run by the Trust’s Chairman and Founder, Madame Jeanne Marchig. The running of the Centre is entirely dependant on donations from the public for its 68,000 Euros annual budget and the FHDD also has Associate Membership status with the WSPA and RSPCA International.

The principle aims of the FHDD are to care for stray dogs and cats by implementing a Neuter and Return programme, which is a humane, no-kill method that eventually reduces the number of strays that are endemic in most Mediterranean countries to acceptable levels. This then aims to result in a harmonious attitude between the local population and the animals.

{mosimage}Clearly the FHDD are doing all they can to help the stray dog and cat problem in and around Fethiye and when you visit their excellent and very comprehensive website at www.straydogsturkey.org you can get a better idea of their work which also includes impressive support from local Councils, the Mugla Governorship and Mr.Osman Pepe, Turkey’s Environment Minister, to name a few.

The Post contacted the FHDD about our readers comments and we received the reply, reproduced here, from their chairman Mrs Agnelli, which explains that if the hotels and restaurants put just a little effort into helping collect stray cats the situation could be brought more under control. So if you know any hotel or restaurant owners with a stray cat problem pass on the good word and encourage them to contact the FHDD – the solutions are obviously better for business, good for tourism and especially beneficial for the cats!

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FHDD is a non-profit making Association, and  maintains their annual budget by depending  solely on donations. They have a weekly Market-day stand in Fethiye during the tourist season which generates interest in their work and allows visitors to make a donation in the collection box. The FHDD does not receive any financial help from the Government, as Turkey has priorities that do not at the moment include animal welfare. If you would like to help the FHDD  to sustain their work in animal welfare please contact them at:

Website: www.straydogsturkey.org

Email: fhdd@straydogsturkey.org

Address: FHDD, PO Box 7,
48300 Fethiye, Mugla, Turkey
Telephone: +90 252 613 5825

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