Seeing stray dogs on the street is a tragic sight for dog lovers. Often, people feel unable to help dogs that they see living on the streets. If they cannot take the dog home and they do not know who to contact, the dog is often overlooked and left to fend for itself. Sometimes, a stray dog gets lucky when a human offers them some kindness. This might involve them giving the dog a little affection or taking it some scraps to eat. In many cases, these acts of kindness are not witnessed by other people. However, one woman’s act of kindness was caught on camera. I Heart Dogs reported the story of a woman who had been visiting a cafe on a cold and wet day. She enjoyed her cup of coffee indoors, before heading out into the rain to carry on with her day.
As the woman stepped out of the café in Zonguldak in Turkey, she saw that there was a stray dog. The dog had curled up on the steps of the establishment to try and get out of the rain and was curled tightly into a warm to retain some heat. However, as the dog was already visibly wet and shivering, it was clear that his efforts to stay dry and warm had been in vain. For a few moments, the café customer stood staring at the poor pup. In those few seconds, she was probably assessing the situation and deciding whether there was anything that she could possibly do to help the dog in its hour of need. Although her options were limited, she did the only things that she could think of at that time. The woman was wearing a scarf around her neck. She removed the scarf and put it over the pup to keep it warm. She had decided to forego her own warmth and comfort to help the dog. After the woman had donated her scarf and walked away, the dog gratefully snuggled down into his makeshift bed.
What the woman did not know when she made this gesture of kindness was that it had been caught on the security camera outside the café. Although the footage lasts barely more than a few seconds, it wasn’t long before it went viral. Everyone who saw the footage was touched by the kindness that the woman had shown to the dog. Not only had the video gone viral online, but it also started to make the headlines in the Turkish media. Everyone wanted to know who the unidentified woman was as she had not come forward herself. One person who saw the video instantly recognized the woman as her friend Duygu Elma, an animal lover. When Elma had made the decision to give the dog her scarf, she had no idea that her act of kindness had been captured or that it would touch so many people around the world. She has since said that it just seemed the right thing to do at the time as there was no other way that she could help the stray pup.
Elma had not expected to receive the amount of praise that she has had since the event. The level of attention has taken her by surprise. It was seeing the dog shivering so badly that inspired her to make the gesture of giving him her scarf as the weather was so cold and she knew it would help. Since she helped the dog outside the café that day, Elma has not seen him since. She can only hope that giving him her scarf gave him some comfort. She hopes that those who have seen the video are inspired to help out other animals in need. Not all stray pups in Turkey are as lucky as this little fellow. While this dog was fortunate enough to come across a kind animal lover like Elma, most dogs in the streets of Turkey are completely ignored. This is because stray dogs are a huge problem in this country, especially in Istanbul.
The reason why people ignore strays is that they are considered such a problem. Many of them are hostile, which puts anyone approaching at risk of getting a nasty bite. Even worse, rabies is a condition that is still rife in this country. According to the NHS, rabies is an acute viral infection, and it is possible for dogs to pass it to humans via a bite. This is a very serious condition, with initial symptoms including weakness, fever, numbness, headache, and tingling around the site of the wound. As the condition progresses, the symptoms also include muscle spasms, a fear of water, and convulsions. Ultimately, this infection is fatal. As this is such a serious condition, it is little wonder that people are wary of the dogs living on the streets of Turkey. There are many organizations that have realized that the number of stray dogs living on Turkey’s streets is an issue that needs tackling. Not only do they pose a potential health risk, but they also foul the streets.
One organization that is taking steps to reduce the problem is Vet Bus, says Daily Sabah. This charity aims to help the thousands of dogs and cats living on the streets of Istanbul. The goal is to vaccinate, sterilize, and care for approximately 130,000 dogs and 165,000 cats that are living on Istanbul’s streets. This project has already made great strides in reducing the number of strays and also dealing with the rabies issue. It has been reported that there has not been a confirmed case of rabies in Istanbul since 2016. With the support of such organizations along with the support and generosity of the Turkish public, it is possible that the lives of strays in Turkey could significantly improve. Turkish strays need more kindhearted women like Elma.