Turkish-Ukrainian Team Helps Ankara Stray Animals
The Turkish-Ukrainian team of Mariya and el-VAN are helping stray animals in Ankara. They feed them, build shelters for them and arrange medical treatment. Since there are few large-scale programs to help stray animals in Turkey, the two women do their utmost to get others involved
Artemova used to live in Istanbul where she cared for street cats. After moving to Ankara, she didn’t give up looking after stray animals and teamed up with Elvan to build animal shelters and attend to those needing help or feeding. The pair collect all the money themselves from individual donors.
“Some people do what they can to come and help or take a dog to their clinic. We try to collect money by asking people online and on Facebook,” Artemova said.
In addition to individual contributions, local restaurants and shopping centers also hand over food scraps which otherwise would go waste.
“For example, this restaurant helps the most. Every day, they give me two or three large packages of food on average; and that helps feed about 30 animals,” Berber said.
“Our whole team loves animals very much. That’s why specifically for them we select and process the leftovers,” Seyda Alptekin, a restaurant worker said.
To grow the initiative, Berber uploads YouTube videos describing how people can help stray animals and documenting the four-legged friends she and Artemova help.
The two say the conditions of animal shelters in Turkey are generally poor – partly because of the lack of large-scale government funding programs. Therefore it’s left to volunteers like themselves to unite other animal lovers and help as many strays as possible.