Perihan Agnelli writes about the week’s travels with the innovative and recently refurbished Fethiye Mobile Animal Clinic.
After a lot of work, all our formalisations have been completed and we have all the necessary licences from the Ministry in Ankara and the Regional Governor in Mugla to operate.
On 30th September we travelled a short distance from Fethiye to the town of Ciftlik with our Resident Vet, Emre Kangal, our newly appointed Travelling Vet, Ozgur Yaman and our driver/dog-catcher extraordinaire, Cuma Kahraman.
The local municipality announce on the public Tannoy system that people should bring their dogs to the Town Market Place, where our Mobile Clinic is located, for vaccinating and neutering.
Ciftlik is a small town of farmers and market gardeners and there were no street dogs, only private dogs whose owners had never taken their dogs to a vet, so it was important that they should be vaccinated as well as neutered.
Other dogs were brought to us but when we found that they had already been registered with Veterinary Clinics, although not neutered, we declined to undertake their neutering operation as we do not want to interfere with private veterinary care for these animals.
In total the vets treated 5 female dogs, 1 male dog and 2 female cats.
On 2/3 October we were invited by the Dalaman Municipality, around 48kms from our base in Fethiye Animal Centre.
In Dalaman they have a ready set up animal centre and so our vet Ozgur was able to use the facilities within the centre. The municipality vehicle went around the town with Cuma to collect stray dogs and bring them to their shelter where they were able to stay 2 days after the operation before returning them to the streets.
Our Resident Vet, Emre Kangal had to return to his duties at the Fethiye Animal Centre and our Travelling Vet, Ozgur Yaman, had to continue to work on his own.
In total he neutered 7 female and 4 male street dogs plus
3 female and 1 male street cats.
On 7th October we travelled to the village of Incirkoy, where time seemed to have stopped still. Settled in the popular Valley of Uzumlu, but away from the main roads through the valley, this sleepy village boasts a Mosque built over the road that runs through the town, forming a small tunnel. Very handy for saying your prayers as you pass through with your car.
We had been told that around street dogs were running loose in the village but when we arrived at 10am there were no dogs to be found. The village elders told us that the dogs would arrive late in the afternoon, but as we did not want to wait all day, we decided to return to the village at a later date
Our next trip was again a nearby-village, Camkoy, where we had a very nice day working with the municipality and operated on 3 female and 7 male street dogs.
On the 9th of October our Mobile Clinic travelled 30kms from Fethiye to the town of Kemer where here is a large ex-pat community who were very helpful in assisting us to catch the street dogs and bring them to the MC
Most of the street dogs in Kemer are looked after by the English residents so were quite tame.
We would like to thank Ishak, an Englishman who converted to become a Muslim and his friend Dave who organised the collection of the street dogs.
A feature of Turkish village life is the men gathering at the local cafes where they sit and chat and play cards.
My attempts to explain our presence in their town seemed to fall on deaf ears!
One of them suggested we take the dogs with us instead of going to all this trouble!
There were a lot more dogs to treat so we will return another time. All the same Ozgur neutered 3 female and 7 male street dogs.
Further away from Kemer is the farming town of Kadikoy where we spent 2 days on 10th and 11th October.
The local school children came to see what all the attention in the town was focused on. This gave us them opportunity to explain to the children what animal care consists of.
They were certainly showed more interest than did the men in Kemer!
Our total for Kadikoy was 14 female and 4 male dogs over the 2 days.
Short Break Then Back on The Road
This week saw the start of the Holy Week of Kurban Bayram where the slaughter of farm animals to give meat to the poorest people is an Islamic ritual.
As this is a public holiday, lasting one week, we will not travel during this week and will make plans to visit other surrounding towns in the Fethiye region like Uzumlu and Olu Deniz before starting longer trips along the Aegean coast.