A shelter set up by Arzu Akkoç, an animal lover living in the Turkish capital Ankara, has become home to 170 dogs, and now the philanthropist is calling for help, be it financial support, pet supplies or just spending time with pets.
Akkoç, involved for 19 years in feeding and helping street animals, retired in 2018 to devote herself to the animal rescue association she created.
Through her”patikoassociation, she helped build a special six-decare (1.5 acre) living space for animals in the Etimesgut neighborhood of Ankara.
In the center, animals that have suffered torture are rehabilitated, walkers are provided for disabled animals, and dogs that suffer from sight problems and other injuries are also cared for.
The association also assists in search and rescue efforts for lost animals.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Akkoç said their association helps feed stray animals and the area they have created is also home to paralyzed, three-legged and visually impaired people.
Akkoç also said he decided to set up the center to avoid increasingly expensive pensions, which his association used for two years to care for animals in need of medical care.
The animal lover also said that the amount of financial support for the association was not at a sufficient level.
“We rented this area last year, and now our rent is 6,000 lira ($677). We now have 170 dogs,” she said.
“We have a lot of dogs that have nowhere to go, that we couldn’t release back into the wild after their treatment, and that need permanent homes,” Akkoç added.
“Rehousing has stopped and there is no more food support. We try to find donations. If we can’t, we pay ourselves and also try to repay the loans we have taken out with the banks. We are also trying to find foster families,” she said.
“We tend to have a lot of debt to vets. We need 15 kilos (33 pounds) of pet food each day“said Akkoç.
“Get some animal food, come here and hang out. We are a few people and we cannot afford everything,” she added.
“These animals are always hungry for love. If you can’t bring pet food, bring your love.