Definite discussions with Positive proposals – municipality Mayors and KAR working together on ‘street dogs’
Progress with puppies, success with solutions for street dogs, neutering now, compounds for caring, hope for the homeless, and every aspect of the street dog problem in both municipalities of Girne and Alsancak has taken giant strides forward following discussions between the respective Mayors and Kyrenia Animal Rescue.
Margaret Ray, the Chairman of K.A.R is delighted to report that meetings with Mayors Nidai Gungordu of Girne and Firat Ataser of Alsancak have resulted in the beginning of a solutions to the ongoing problems of street dogs, whose existence on the streets of all the municipalities has been exacerbated since the new Law on microchipping and licensing came into force. The reality is that since this law, there has been an increase of 550% in registered dogs but sadly an unknown percentage increase of dogs ‘dumped’ by owners for various reasons, one possibly being that the chipping etc is unaffordable, especially in households which have taken in unwanted dogs and puppies.
Proposals have been put forward by K.A.R, in Turkish, to Girne Municipality which are being discussed, and a copy has been given to Alsancak municipality for them to consider as to whether they feel they can work together with KAR on the same lines as those already given to Gungordu.
In discussions with Gungordu on Friday 19th September, the Mayor stated some of the difficulties and complaints received. “Some members of the public like to see the dogs on the streets of Girne and another group are against the dogs. It is essential to find a happy solution.” KAR hopes that form the proposals put forward (found below) and further ongoing meetings, will ensure that both the municipality and the charity can work together to solve the problem and in fact turn the problem into a liveable reality with neutering being high on the list of priorities . “The Mayor has been a supporter of KAR for some considerable time, and has also been a member, and we are extremely grateful for his support and even happier that we can work together into the future” said Margaret Ray.
The meeting on the 23rd September with Alsancak Mayor Firat Ataser was equally productive, as KAR pointed out how they had already been collecting dogs and neutering cats for more than ten years in the area, and how it was hoped that they could work together . As a step forward the Mayor said that he would be happy to work with KAR and would shortly visit the rescue centre at Besparmak and the veterinary facilities at the KAR office at Karakum, in order to inform himself more fully of the work that KAR does.
For Margaret Ray and her team, these discussions have proved extremely fruitful, “We are extremely happy with the discussions we have had, and that there is very definitely hope (with a capital ‘H’) that we can all work together to solve the problems.”
Proposed Solutions for the Street Dog Problem
Short Term Plan
- KAR will remove from the streets all dogs that are causing problems. Particularly in the areas of the harbour and around the town centre. Dogs that do not have numbered tags in their ears will be collected as, and when, there is space at the Rescue Centre. They will be neutered and tagged and an assessment done. If they are fit to be returned to the streets a decision will be made as to the best place for them.
- If there are dogs that KAR are unable to catch, even with the help of traps, then the Belediye should arrange for the Government Vet to be consulted. The plan would be for a trained marksman to shoot them with a tranquilliser gun. There should be a guarantee that no euthanasia drug/poison is used. KAR would then collect the dogs when they are safely sedated.
- KAR will maintain an up to date record of all dogs that are tagged and living on the streets.
- Girne Belediye must, together with KAR develop a system of record keeping. This should start with identifying the current street dogs and their location.
- Girne Belediye should, together with KAR have a traceable method of recording reports of ‘nuisance’ dogs. This could be similar to KAR ’s written report system as well as being available via email.
- A report of any dog that is referred to KAR should include a description of the dog, its tag number [if it is a tagged dog] the problem with the dog, and its location. These details should be provided by the Belediye.
- Girne Belediye is responsible for checking stray dogs for micro chipping and registration. As per the requirements of the LAW.
- Ideally there should be a named worker within the Belediye who would have an overview of the population of the dogs in and around Girne. This would help communication between the public, the Belediye and KAR.
- Due to the new micro chipping and registration laws, we expect to see more dogs on the streets. There will therefore be a need for more dogs to be accommodated at the Rescue Centre. KAR hope that Girne Belediye will be able to support us with rebuilding the kennel block and new compounds, as well as contributing towards staffing, dog food and veterinary costs.
At every stage of this plan it is extremely important that a policy of neutering stray dogs is implemented.
In the KAR document ‘Let Them Live’ there are well researched and referenced reasons why this is the ONLY method of controlling the stray dog problem. Incarcerating dogs in compounds for the rest of their lives is both impractical and inhumane.
Middle Term Plan
- The Belediye should begin plans to build a structure to house 20 – 30 dogs for temporary care. This should be built to EU standards.
- As per Article Four in the Law adult dogs, which are not tagged should be collected and taken by the Belediye to this facility. There they should be checked for micro chips and registration.
- If chipped or registered the Belediye are required by law to notify the owner. If after 10 days the owner has not been found, the Belediye hold the dog for a further 20 days, while a permanent home is sought.
- It is extremely important that a neutering programme is established.
- At the end of this 30 day period the dog can then be transferred to KAR with all the appropriate records. KAR need to be sure that all efforts have been made to locate the owner or that a permanent home has been sought.
- KAR will health check and assess the dog, and if applicable will tag, neuter and return the dog to its original area.
- All puppies, small breed dogs, and sick or injured dogs will be taken straight to KAR. A report form with details will be required.
- A financial agreement between KAR and the Belediye will need to be established.
- This middle term plan will essentially be a partnership between the Belediye and KAR. However the police should be vigilant, and be prepared to prosecute any owner seen to be abandoning a dog to live on the streets.
- It would be useful to know how many ownerless dogs are in Girne? Also to know how many dogs have been micro chipped and registered since the new Law came in at the beginning of 2014?
The only humane way to control the stray dog population is through a strict policy of micro chipping, registration, and neutering.
The Law states that all dogs over 6 weeks old should be registered. Owners must be made to take responsibility for their dogs and not to let them roam and breed indiscriminately. Fines should be imposed for not following the Law.
Low cost neutering schemes should be implemented and the public should be educated about the importance of having their dog neutered.
Long Term Plan.
- There will be a limited, and agreed number, of tagged dogs living in the community, within the Municipality of Girne.
- Records of these dogs will be kept by both the Belediye and KAR. The dogs will be monitored and controlled jointly by the Belediye and KAR.
- There must be a named person within the Belediye who is responsible for maintaining the records. This person will also be responsible for liaising with KAR over any problems with loose dogs. This includes stray dogs new to the area, tagged dogs and owned dogs.
- Stray, non tagged dogs, are collected by the Belediye and taken to their Municipal kennels. There they must be checked for a micro chip. If the dog has a micro chip number, the owner must be contacted. A fine will be imposed and the dog returned to its owner.
- If no owner can be traced, the dog is put on a homing list. If after 30 days no home has been found for the dog, it will be released to the care of KAR. As stated by the Law; (Article 4. 13 (2) (c) ).
- Any dog that the Belediye has been holding, must be neutered and vaccinated before it is released into the care of KAR. This is stated by the Law: (Article 4.13 (2) (c)). KAR should be reimbursed for the costs for any dog released into the care of KAR if it has not been vaccinated and neutered.
- Any dog which is deemed by KAR to be suitable will be returned to the streets. It will then be a ‘tagged’ dog. KAR will continue to make all efforts to rehome the dog before this decision is made.
- As stated in the Mid Term Plan, all pregnant bitches, puppies or dogs with health problems would be accepted immediately by KAR. All relevant records would be required.
- To enable KAR to maintain its commitment to this long term plan, a reimbursement scheme will need to be agreed with Girne Belediye. This will be calculated according to the number of dogs that KAR takes from the streets into its care.
This reimbursement could be in the form of food, medications, the payment of veterinary costs and staffing.
- Girne Belediye will have full responsibility for checking homes and premises where there are dogs, to ensure that the dogs have been micro chipped and registered. Fines should be imposed where this has not happened. Girne Belediye will work together with the Government Veterinary Department, who is responsible for imposing the fines.
There has already been some considerable success in getting owners to register their dogs. In 2013, according to Belediye records, 159 were registered. In 2014, up to the middle of August, 845 had been registered.
- Girne Belediye has full responsibility of announcing and sending out information to remind owners to register their dogs.
- There should be notices and publicity informing dog owners that, they will be fined if their dog is loose on the streets. Any owner who allows a bitch in season to be loose on the streets should be instructed to get it neutered and the situation monitored regarding the possibility of puppies.
- KAR together with the Belediye will continue to educate dog owners on the responsibilities of owning a dog. High on the agenda should be information about the importance of neutering.
- For the health and safety of the general public notices should be put up instructing dog owners to clean up after their dogs. There should also be notices in town areas to remind owners to keep their dogs on a lead
For this long term plan to work it is essential that the Law is followed, so that all dogs can be traced to an owner.
It is equally as important that there is advice and support to encourage people to get their dogs neutered.
The only dogs loose on the streets will be tagged community dogs.