home - thanks and good bye Veterinaries in the near region: For working group contact :


Hasan Ulas Gökduman,
Gökova  0533 475 27 71

Göksel Bayramlı,
Gökova 0252 246 6629

Yasemin Ilseven      0531 491 8935


Poisoning!   (Yes, we have!)

January, 2008 Zeytin is hit by a car

Zeytin was dumped as a puppy at Akyaka, and then looked after by Sefa and Saffet at their local shop - their helper Adil was especially kind. Zeytin was then hit by a car one evening in January, and the owners of the shop brought him to Muğla Pet Clinic where he was x-rayed and diagnosed with a dislocated hip. The clinic did not want to do the complicated operation so the next day we took Zeytin to Marmaris Villa-pet where Vet. Behcet Düzgün and his assistants, performed a three hour complex operation. But Zeytin survived and the hip is in place. For 10 days after the operation he stayed with me then put back to his usual place. Today, Zeytin is quite healthy and roaming around the beach – it seemed that he did not want to stay near where he had had his accident. The man, who had hit Zeytin and just left him there, was seen by the shop keepers and few others so we gave a report to the local authorities and later we learned that the person was fined. So now we are looking for a fixed home for this beautiful Labrador mix.

March, 2008 Birey

Another handsome brown hunting dog, Birey, who had been dumped during the winter months in Akyaka, was found with a broken front leg by village people. Mrs Sema arranged for his operation at Villa-pet and afterwards he spent his summer at the Sefa Cooperative with people who cared for him despite some protests from their neighbours! At the end of summer Birey is once again roaming freely and he is using his foot again. We desperately need a home for this lovely good natured dog.

January-March 2008

A new Dog Pound! By the Local Municipal  But NOT what we wanted ….

We have been requesting for years to have a small size, but decent, sterilization station here, with veterinary services and an operating room for sterilization. And also a few small rooms with runs, where we can keep pre-operative mother and pups, post sterilization dogs, and a quarantine facility for sick dogs. In short, a mini size Fethiye Rehabilitation Centre. But unfortunately, at the request of some local people, our mayor decides
instead to build a ‘collection’place – a few huts with no planning, no facilities and NO personnel! Something that we have been fighting against from the very beginning! And instead of bringing the new arrivals (dumped here from small local villages) ready for sterilization, they start putting in the already sterilized dogs from the beach and around the village! According to the new law of Animal Rights this new place is classified as illegal! We quickly made our complaints to the mayor and also the local authorities in Muğla, who later came to check and have requested its closure. Neuter and Release has been the law and practice in Akyaka since 2001! FHDD’s mobile clinic and excellent vets are no longer allowed to come to Akyaka because the Muğla Veterinary Association complained they were ‘unfair competition’ so sterilization have stopped for Akyaka. The consequence of this ban has been that surrounding villages simply dump MORE of their ‘surplus dogs’to Akyaka … Killing dogs or collecting them up into compounds which usually quickly turn into the most unhealthy and horrible conditions for these dogs - the VERY LAST thing we want! We need a proper place (outlined above) where sterilization can be carried out and the idea promoted to the surrounding villages. We wrote a protest letter to mayor and all interested bodies (animal societies, appropriate ministeries etc.) protesting about the recent happenings here and once again putting our requests forth (see our letter in the Turkish version of our website).

Another suspicion was that the mayor is preparing a base to put in the dogs during the summer month to stop complains (usually Turkish holiday makers) and to guarantee the blue flag. But we definitely know that the emptied places would be filled within weeks by new comers that have no vaccination, no sterilization no health check and we have to start everything from the beginning. And the sterilized, vaccinated and registered dogs sitting in the compound not allowed to leave the place, a vicious circle that we definitely have to avoid.

We heard about a similar problem being encountered in the well-loved British resort town of Didim……thinking it would be interesting reading about their story and give an idea about general attitude of local governments!
The news has been taken from the weekly English newspaper of Voices Altınkum, for full version see website; (http://www.voicesnewspaper.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1945)

‘ANIMAL charity workers in Altinkum were celebrating this week after a plan to clear 200 stray dogs from the streets was stopped dead in its tracks.

The council was preparing to act after being told to by Head of District Ali Katırcı in light of complaints from residents and holidaymakers about the street dogs. The dogs would have been caged at the town’s shelter and then released after the end of the tourist season.

But a Ministry of Parks official, based in Aydin, was alerted to the scheme and immediately put the block on it after deeming it to be illegal.

The official visited the town’s shelter last Friday and met with Didim Friends of the Animals Charity, including Gill Erer as well as the council vet Ali Durmus

She said: “The official made it quite plain to the council that what they had proposed to do was in fact against the law and should not go ahead with it.

“He reminded them of the legal framework that exists and also was highly complimentary of the cleanliness of the shelter. He told us that the action was incorrect and the plan could not, and should not, go ahead.”

She said: “He confirmed that dogs can only be in the shelter for four days maximum for treatment before being released where they were found. It is a clear victory for the stray dogs and the animal campaigners.”

She added: “We will continue to work the council in order that the neuter and release scheme remains the success that it is.”

Spring, 2008 Too many new arrivals! No end to the dumps…..

Since this unwanted new compound was made, just as we suspected, there has been an increase in ‘dumped dogs’ ….. the news spreads so quickly around local villages and their communities see this as a solution for the unwanted dogs in THEIR neighbourhood ! We find nearly 10 new arrivals every month! Far more than Akyaka has experienced for years!

So …. We’ve discusses this issue with our mayor, Ahmet Çalca, who asked us for photographs as evidence of these new arrivals, which we have prepared. His plan is to ask for help from higher authorities to implement some joint action to solve this problem.

The skinny, wounded dog shown in the picture, has probably just arrived when he was photographed along the Sakar Road which is the main entry to our village. Usually these poor ones are dumped on this road just where it joins the main highway from Muğla… the lucky ones find their way into Akyaka, but many of them, sadly become victims of the busy traffic! When we first see them, we give them food and water of course. Depending on their state of health we de-worm and de-flea them (for inner and outer parasites). Next, they get their complete set of vaccination for distemper etc. . Next they are sterilized and have rabies vaccination. If they are the lucky ones they find themselves an owner or at least a door where they get fed regularly (the one in the photograph had a happy ending and settled at the local gendarmerie!).

March, 2008 Meeting with the Major

With nearly 10 arrivals every month we realised that it’s impossible for our group to keep up with the sterilization and care of all the animal population of Akyaka. The answer was to have serious discussions with Ahmet Çalca, the Akyaka Mayor. He agreed to this and so the meeting was attended by Mrs Sema, Mrs Heidi and Mr Tarkan. We brought up our problems and at the end of the meeting it was decided that Akyaka Municipality would take on the financial burden of sterilization (FHDD was still sterilizing our dogs for free but our volunteers had to drive the dogs and cats to the Fethiye centre 100 km. away from Akyaka. Usually we made this run with our private cars (and our petrol in Turkey is the highest priced in the whole world!) but occasionally we asked for vehicles from the municipality.

While we wait for our own sterilization and rehabilitation Centre, we continue to use the assistance of Vet Hasan Ulaş (Karya vet at Gökova) who does the sterilization and keep the dogs post-operative in his own kennels in Gökova. Vet Hasan then bills the Council for his expenses. The Council also supports us with dry food which we need large quantities in winter! In case of emergencies we continue to ask for vehicles, although usually we bring dogs and cats ourselves to the vets.

As for our future plans we must make a real effort to encourage sterilization of dogs in the neighbouring villages, Ahmet bey has promised to help us with this as well. We plan to organize trips to villages and talk with the local muhtars to help poor villagers to understand the need for sterilization of their bitches. Only then will the numbers dumped decline!

April, 2008 – Our visit to FHDD (the Centre in Fethiye)

After the municipality’s attempt to build us a truly unsatisfactory dog pound here in Akyaka, we decided to take Ahmet Çalca on a visit to the Fethiye Centre, which was built as a role model for other centres. Perihan Agnelli met us and gave our Mayor a tour of the centre, followed up with a long talk between just the two of them about solving stray animal problems. We really hope the visit has given our local government new perspectives.

May, 2008 Our annual vaccinations and general medication

Since 2004, usually around spring-time, we ask Akyaka Council to arrange the necessary vaccinations and all other general medication to ensure the health of both the dogs themselves and all of us who come into contact with them.

In addition to this check every 3-4 months we check all our strays and de-worm them with parataks-plus. After the tick-crisis in other parts of Turkey, we put ‘Front-line’ on our strays.

June, 2008 - our strays also had their Rabies. A busy time!

The Blue Flag Dilemma!

Although it’s good news that our Akyaka beach has received a Blue Flag (indication of clean and safe sea), but what about our strays!? L Our beach dogs have been attraction to many tourists who like to spoil them with their love and treats during the summer months – we have many letters from our regular visitors to prove this!) They all have their favourite corner and the whole beach is divided up between them. When this dog pound was established by the municipal, we had a sinking feeling that our beloved ones would end up in this place far away from village from their usual spots during the summer months! We tried to make it clear from the beginning that this would not be acceptable, as the neutered and vaccinated dogs by law should be left along with us. Emptying the beach of dogs would not help but only provide space for new arrivals, all of which would not be sterilized, vaccinated or have had any health check!! A real vicious circle … Our work needs to be done in the correct way from the beginning. We cannot have already sterilized and vaccinated dogs put away in poor conditions in an unattended, unsuitable dog-pound! Thanks to the arguments our friend Tarkan has put forward to the municipality, it has been agreed that the strays are allowed on the beach. The criteria's of a blue flag does not mention that dogs should be kept away! It leaves the animal issue to the local policies, which ‘neuter and release’ has been the local policy of Akyaka since 2001 as a test resort and, by law since 2004! The only relevant criteria required for the Blue Flag, is that the beach and sea should not be contaminated by animal faeces etc. We know that the restriction of private dogs on beach has raised yet another issue which has to be resolved in the future.

Our dogs’ playtime on the beach!

Often in the early morning you can see packs of dogs playing on the beach and in the sea! From time to time this may seem threatening to some of our visitors, but be assured that this play and play-fight is healthy for the social behaviour of our street/beach dogs. In the end they sort out their relationships and none of the dogs are injured (just occasionally through this rough play they rip off their ear tags, which ARE important to us for their registration and show that they have been sterilized). We try to explain this as much as possible but unfortunately we still have some visitors and summer residents who react by throwing sticks and stones at our loved ones which can make them aggressive – another problem hard for us to solve.

July, 2008 Arapkız is hit by a car

Arapkız (who is also advertised in the ‘dogs looking for a home’ section) had arrived in Akyaka at the beginning of this summer. She was sterilized and her vaccinations just completed when in the last week of July she was hit by a car just outside the municipal building. The driver of the car asked for help from members of the choral group who were practicing inside the building, he needed to pull our poor dog out from under his car. This done, he drove away leaving the dog there in great pain! Yes! You read that right and the story gets worse. Sema hn. called our ‘emergency people’ to the accident site immediately - the local vet. Hasan Ulaş and the Gendarmerie. The Gendarmerie, having got the number of the car, found out that the driver is a new teacher at the nearby town, Yatağan. They also got his mobile number so we called him up about this situation, only to be told that he cannot help further! After this reply we ask the various authorities to issue a summons and report the incidence to the Ministry of Education! Arapkız was diagnosed with a long homerus fracture and was operated on by the team of Villa-pet in Marmaris. He then spent three weeks in Vet Hasan Ulaş’s care at his kennels. Today she is one of our beach ladies, totally recovered without any trace of the accident. A beautiful Labrador mix looking for a new home - see our homes needed page.

August, 2008 Whiskies accident and operation

Just a week after this drama, at a late hour in the evening a speeding motorbike hits Whisky. He had been about to hit two young girls but as they escape this crazy driver, Whisky, who is right behind them, is the one hit by the bike. The girls immediately call Gendarmerie. According to the vets it is a miracle she survived the accident with a broken lower jaw and a few other wounds. Whisky is operated by the team of Villa-pet in Marmaris and spends five weeks in Vet. Hasan Ulaş’s kennel receiving special care J She is now back in her particular corner, a much loved dog in her neighbourhood.



Please don’t be a ‘traffic monster’! Please drive SLOW through Akyaka! Speeding drivers have become a menace to both humans and animals on our streets in Akyaka especially at weekends and all during high season. We ask for better control and punishments from the local traffic police!.

Our second hand stoll at the market

It has become the social gathering place on Wednesdays for many people who like animals and like to go through the second hand stuff as well. Any income, as everybody knows, goes to the benefit ouf our stray animals. Most times on the market day (Wednesday) from 9.00 to 13.00 our volunteers offer the donated clothing and other goods for very good prices. So don't be shy !

September, 2008 New arrivals! Continuation of the sterilizations…….

With the number of tourists decreasing, the dogs which often leave or hide away during the summer months, start to become more visible! Due to the heat of the summer months we don’t often to sterilize them during this period. In September we take the newly arrived bitches for operation by Vet. Hasan Ulaş, where they also stay for few days for post-operative care. Thanks to Jane and Itır hn. we managed to get 10 new dogs sterilized.

September, 2008, Another regular deworming session and parasite control of new arrivals.

September, 2008 – 2 very Special new arrivals

Have you seen a very smart dog running all over Akyaka – a splendid foxhound – almost certainly pure-bred – followed bravely by a little mixed breed puppy trying hard to keep up and when you look closely you will see that this little fellow has only three legs! The Foxhound is aptly named Gezgin (the wanderer!) and pup is Guçlu Uçlu (the strong 3 legged one!) but usually just ‘puppy’! The pair arrived in Akyaka and mother was desperately looking for shelter for her offspring. He seems to have been born this way – or maybe had a withered lower leg which could have become infected so mother dealt with in her own way. After Gezgin’s operation she and ‘puppy’ were given a large kennel by Mrs Irmgard which was put down near the fishermen at the quiet end of the harbour. Jane has fallen in love with the pair and has visited them every evening with food but now she is away for the winter months Sonia has kindly taken over care of ‘puppy’. Mum continues exploring everywhere she can and maybe she is wondering why her pup is still hanging around! Jane has contacted foxhound kennels in UK (even though there is no possibility of rehoming her there) in case they knew anyone in Europe who might give them a home. So far no luck but if only someone in Akyaka would give her a kennel or corner of a balcony and love her, she will be perfectly happy to continue as a ‘Happy Wanderer’. Apparently foxhounds MUST have plenty of exercise and who betide anyone that tries to keep them house-bound as they will expend their energy on destroying things!!

September, 2008 Distemper alarm!

In September a dog with an owner, Sakız, had apparently caught distemper in Muğla and did not survive the disease. She was owned by people who ran the Aşkyaka cafe, on the sea front by in the forest. Unfortunately at this time, Muğla had an epidemic of distemper, so we tried to catch up with vaccinating the new arrivals. But ......

October/November 2008

..... two of these new comers caught distemper and were under veterinary care for several weeks. Sema hn. Itır hn. and Jane did all they could to save them from this awful disease which starts with bronchial infection and then later affects the nervous system. Sadly we lost both of them in the last week of November. Two years ago we had had a similar epidemic and one of our strays died. Puppies usually are very difficult to save but the older ones, with good care and vit. B, can survive this disease, some without any trace but some with twitching. Bingo and Arap are two such dogs that have survived. We have now decided that all our new arrivals will be first given the complete vaccination which covers distemper and parva etc.

November, 2008 Perihan Agnelli gives a speech to school children about stray animals in Turkey.

November, 2008 Many of you have seen the pictures and read the amazing story of Cesur who is famous now for being the ‘wheely dog’! He lives now in İzmir with Yasemin and leads a full life with new friends and regular walks with other dogs. There is a lovely video clip of Cesur playing quite naturally with another dog and we all know how much Yasemin’s care has given this brave young man a new life.

So that is our diary of events in Akyaka during 2008 but throughout the year .....
We have of course run our weekly second-hand stall on the Wednesday market. There are about 5 or 6 regular helpers who keep it going except when it is raining or during the very hottest months because several of us ‘escape’ the 40º +. We continue to receive regular donations from local people not only in Akyaka but also in the villages around. Many of our foreign visitors leave items behind after their holiday and often surprise us with a generous donation when they come to talk to us at our ‘table’. Akyaka is remarkable in that one rarely finds a foreigner making their ‘first visit’ to our little village. Once found, people come back year after year and the record I think are the two ladies who have been here nearly 50 times!! It is always good to know that although our dogs go through a difficult time in high summer when to many visitors they are NOT welcome, the majority of visitors from outside Turkey think of our street/beach dogs as their friends, and if one is missing, come and ask us what has happened to their favourite. Luckily we can show them a printed copy of our computer records and check for news and present whereabouts.

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Three Akayaka Dogs Go To Germany!

Bal (Honey) and Badem (Almond) were dumped in our village in early 2006. Each of them was neutered and vaccinated and then we started to look for new homes for these two lovely dogs.  They are now happily settled in different parts of Germany and much of the searching was done through Rosi Ohle’s wonderful website  (http://www.conchis-tierhilfe.de) and we are so grateful to her for the work she does.  Originally, Rosi, who spends much of the summer months in this area, wanted to find homes for ‘disabled’, elderly or chronically ill street dogs to give them some relief from their past hardships.

Another lady, Semiha was also looking on Rosi’s website because she had taken in a street dog, Çapkın (Skirt Chaser!) who had one back leg that was quite useless and Semiha had heard about Rosi’s help with finding a sympathetic home. So all three dogs were chipped and while we were waiting for responses Bal was looked after by Mrs Gül and Badem went to Uschi’s home and Çapkın was with Yasemin.  Eventually things worked out and in November 2006, Yasemin and Anita took all three dogs by plane to Germany!  All of them have settled down very well and been accepted by both the new human families and the dogs already in those homes!  Bal is living with Nicole and her sister Helen (friends of Yasemin) who live near Munich (with two other dogs) and Badem went to one of Rosi’s friends, Tamara, who lives in Hanover. Tamara had lost her own dog a few months before but when she saw the photos of Badem she decided to take her. Again, Badem has settled down happily there!

Our Çapkın is in Stutgart with Petra who works in an Animal Welfare Organisation, and is now one of three dogs in the family. Petra tried to arrange an operation to restore use of the back leg but the injury was too old and vets suggested amputation would be the best solution. This was done and Çapkın is now running around quite happily on three legs!!

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Yet Again - Poisonings!

In the winter months from time to time the usual poisoning of dogs took place ... Vet Hasan’s prompt response for help when we called him for these emergencies, saved several of these poor animals but sadly we lost Wolfi and Aykız. Not only the animal lovers of Akyaka condemn these cruel acts, but we hear from so many residents who are upset and think that this is barbaric. The perpetrators should be named and shamed.



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Needed – A Care Unit For Puppies!

Another regular winter event is the ‘dumping’ of pregnant bitches and unwanted puppies (mainly female) in Akyaka .... they are brought here from surrounding villages presumably because they think that animal lovers here will solve their problem. Mrs Makbule and Mrs Aysel take care of so many of these and after giving parasite tablets and their first injections these good ladies look for homes. All new owners are told that they MUST neuter their new pets (as the law in Turkey now requires this for street dogs) and local vets will usually reduce their fees. Our group also takes them to FHHD on one of our regular ‘runs’.  If only we had a care unit here supported by our local Council.

Our next story shows that it isn’t just outlying villages that believe in ‘dumping’

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How The Gökova Council Rounds Up Street Dogs And Why We’ve Protested Against It!

At the end of April someone brought news to our ‘secondhand table’ at the Wednesday market in Akyaka that Gökova Council had been ‘collecting’ unwanted street dogs, using a stun gun (Yes that nice little village with the Saturday market ...) We went to question the Council there and found that the Mayor was ‘out of town’ but we asked what they were doing with these dogs they had ‘stunned’.  We were told what we half guessed – they were being taken outside far from the village and when we warned them that this was now against the law in Turkey, they promised that they would suspend this practice until the Mayor came back when he would be consulted. There had been a mother and her pups living in the market area but after being ‘stunned’ the mother disappeared and has never been seen again. Her puppies have survived but have severe mange which Vet Hasan is treating. Sema Meral made a follow-up visit and asked about the disappearance of this mother and she learned that perhaps the bitch had received too large a dose in the stun gun and had probably died. Sema also found part of the stun gun and with this evidence there have been several complaints to the courts about the whole ‘collection’ system.  These have been made to the Mayor of Gökova himself, the Ula Court, the Muğla Governor and the Provincial Director of Muğla’s Protection of Nature Department.

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Regular Control Of Parasites For our Street Dogs!

Every 3 months all our dogs are given Paradix plus to control ticks and fleas. This spring Annegreta brought us ‘Frontline’ as a donation for which we thank her so much.  This kind of help from our summer visitors (whether for a couple of weeks or several months) really helps us keep the dogs clear of parasites and no threat to all the people on our beach!

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Akyaka’s Mayor Helps With The Supply Of Combination Rabies Vaccinations!

Every year the provincial vets come to Akyaka and we collect those dogs needing rabies injections or a renewal jab – they are also wormed if necessary.  But now thanks to our Mayor Ahmed Çalçı we now have a combination Rabies Plus vaccination with which the Council will continue to supply us. Thanks also to Vet Hasan who you will see in the pictures administering this new vaccine down near the beach!

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Cesur (The Brave) – Previously Wölfi – Is Rescued!

In the forest around Kozlukuyu a severely injured dog lay only half alive after being paralysed from some accident.  A kindly citizen alerted us to this situation and we found this poor animal who had survived by eating its own faeces. Wolfi was brought (to Yasemin’s) home and looked after for several weeks After cleaning his open wounds and trimming matted hair (and giving him the love he so deserved) thorough check ups and xrays followed and it was found that this brave little dog, Wolfi (now renamed Cesur - Brave!) had broken his 3rd vertebrae.  Never to be defeated, we found a wonderful website supplying wheels for similar dogs ... This is http://www.wheelchair-dogs.com/) and the main organisation operates from Holland (but the website shows links in the UK as well) and is run by Vivienne and Harco Jans.  When they heard Cesur’s story they immediately offered us wheels for our little dog FREE of CHARGE! Within a few days another Dutch lady, Ellen Dijkman, who is a regular visitor to Akyaka, had made all the arrangements in Holland with the suppliers and after only two days the wheels arrived here in the village at Melek and Yakup’s home! This lightning delivery was because Melek’s brother, Diederic, was flying to Turkey that week and could bring the wheels! Very soon Cesur was taken to the beach and ‘attached’ to his new apparatus. Once again he was mobile and ‘running’ around the beach! From the photos you can see how quickly and how happily Cesur adapted to this wonderful gift! Harco Jans is willing to help in any similar circumstance. How lucky that email, Skype, and animal lovers can so quickly get together in an emergency like this!

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Mrs Anita Sets Up Kitten Care In Her Home

 In our village it is really hard to control the cat population as so many are wild or semi-wild. This year Anita heard so many reports of abandoned kittens in dustbins and by the road side that she has set up a care station in her home (see the photos of Anita and the kittens) where they can be hand fed with special nourishing food – until new homes are found.  But where can we find such homes?  What is needed is for a mobile clinic (like the dog clinic that came twice yearly from 2001 until 2004) to visit Akyaka to neuter these mothers and thus check this over production of kittens! Another summer visitor Annegrete has also brought us a cat trap which she is using in the top part of the village to catch cats for neutering.

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Our Neutering Program Continues Apace!

 MEANWHILE - Our visit to FHDD where Vet Emre performs his skilful operations on the dogs (and some cats) continue every few weeks and nearer to home Vet Hasan at Karya Clinic gives us his support whenever we need him for emergency sterilisations.

When you read all this you will agree, I’m sure, that whilst we thank our Mayor for the help he gives us we desperately need more help with

Further action to find the perpetrators of the poisoning of our animals

Control of ‘dumping’ in Akyaka from outlying villages

Help with organising a clinic to visit Akyaka and neuter our street cats

If only people could understand that each ‘registered’ street dog that dies has had between 100 and 200 YTL ‘invested’ in its sterilisation, parasite control, rabies injections, not to mention our petrol costs to FHDD!  When our dogs die off then another batch turn up needing all this attention over again!

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All these stories were written originally by Yasemin Ilseven who has sadly decided to leave Akyaka and move to the Cesme peninsular near Izmir.  She has worked so long and hard for the Akyaka group and had so many unwanted/sick/ poisoned dogs in her home here and we all wonder how we can manage without her ... The WE in the stories is usually Mrs Anita and Yasemin - Anita is a qualified nurse who is always out helping in our many emergencies.  I hope that this 2006/7 update will encourage our British visitors to email us and perhaps bring medicines out to us when they visit.  And if you are here don't forget to talk to us at the Wednesday Market second-hand stall (mornings only). 


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