Karen Wren runs a small animal shelter in Didim, Turkey trying to save abandoned and injured street dogs along with feeding up to eighty other hungry mouths on the beach, at the side of the road and in the forest each and every day. Sterling work don’t you think? There are no thank yous for this type of hero, because that’s exactly what she is although I don’t think she would thank me for saying that. Often when they are no funds, she is the one who puts her hands in her pocket to buy that much-needed dog food particularly during the leaner months when the tourists have all gone home.
About a month ago their shelter was flooded leaving dogs homeless with nowhere else to take refuge – imagine the horror of discovering your life long work gone overnight. But fight back they did and have cobbled together with make do and mend. In addition to the daily practicalities of running the shelter with little or no facilities and driving around Didim to feed starving street dogs, Karen has to raise funds and update their Facebook page in order to let their friends around the world know how treatment is progressing on injured and sick dogs and equally as important, post details of pups who are looking for a new home. They rely on donations for medical care, food and funds to transport some of the dogs back to the UK where they will have a chance of a better life. Amazingly, a miracle happened this week and they won a competition which will give them enough funds to buy a vehicle, which will mean that they will no longer have to rely on lifts or taxis to rescue injured or sick animals.
Very few stories touch me in the way that Annie’s and Aydin’s have. I was reading through my Facebook feed last week, with a mug of hot tea and one of my Dad’s famous banana sandwiches, when the poignant picture of two very young pups caught my eye. I don’t think I will ever forget that image of the two melancholy young dogs who had been so maliciously treated, cuddling up to each other for comfort. Annie had been thrown from a tractor on a busy main road with her brother who was killed by a speeding car and was found cowering over his body. Later that day Karen also collected Aydin who had again been discarded by an evil individual who had cruelly burned his ears off when he was just a matter of a few weeks old. The damage was so bad there was nothing left of one ear and the other was so badly damaged, it had to be removed too. Within seconds of being put into the back of the car with Annie, frightened Aydin snuggled up to her and they have been inseparable ever since. Annie is currently quite poorly and Aydin is also receiving regular vet treatment for his injuries, all of which is being funded from a few meagre donations and Karen’s own savings. She hopes to find them a loving home together when they are well enough so that she is able to provide a safe haven for the next injured and sick pup. Many times despite the loving care, a lot of the dogs are just too poorly or have been too abused to be saved and this is when Karen and the rest of the volunteers must possess super human strength to be able to get up and do it all over again the following day, never knowing whether the next one will make it either. Cruelty to the most vulnerable is abhorrent to most of us and yet there appears to be no deterrent, so inevitably it will happen repeatedly. So tonight before I go to sleep, I will say a silent prayer of thanks for Karen and the other volunteers like her around the globe that endeavour each and every day to make the world a better place.
But for now, can I ask you do one thing for me today, as I know that we’re living in a world where we are bombarded with pleas to like this or that picture and donation requests, but how great would it be if some of you shared the Turkish Animal Group details or The Turkish Animal Group (T.A.G.)- Dog Adoptables; it won’t cost you anything, just a few seconds of your time and yet it will make a significant difference to Annie & Aydin, not to mention all the other Aydins and Annie that are still waiting for Karen to save them. What are you waiting for, go on make Annie’s day!