Winter Feeding Program
Why is the Winter Feeding Program Needed?
During the summer months the street animals feed well on scraps put out by restaurants, hotels, tourists and residents too. Many animal loving visitors even bring cat/dog food out to Kalkan with them, so concerned are they about the welfare of the street animals here.
When the tourist season ends, however, it is a very different matter! Hotels and many restaurants and shops close. Tourists leave and villas get locked up. Food for the animals becomes scarce.
With the help of dozens of volunteers Kapsa has an established winter feeding programme in Kalkan extending from Kışla to Kızıltaş and from Kalamar to Kördere.
Across winter 2018/19 we helped in some way with the needs of over 1000 animals. We distributed 565 bags of cat & dog food costing 38610 TL (approximately £6000). This equates to 8475 kilos in total, over 8 tons of food.
What Are the Benefits of the Feeding Program?
Each volunteer keeps Kapsa informed of how many animals they are feeding in a particular area, and Kapsa gives them an allowance of dog or cat food accordingly. This not only keeps the animals from going hungry but also stops many of them migrating to the centre of Kalkan in search of food in and around the few restaurants that remain open all year. Also, dogs that are well fed are less likely to become aggressive. Hungry dogs, on the other hand, naturally become more competitive and otherwise docile dogs may turn vicious in their pursuit of food.
Now that dogs are being fed in many different areas of Kalkan they remain spread out and no longer ‘pack’ together. Thankfully, fights and injuries due to hunger are pretty much a thing of the past.
Another benefit to having these volunteer feeders across town is that the health of the animals can be monitored and any problems picked up on quickly, especially where medical intervention is required.
How Does the Feeding Program Work?
It is not an easy task to manage the programme and a lot of organisation and work goes into it to ensure that the Kalkan street animals are cared for as best we can and the feeding programme runs alonside the winter neutering too. Neutering is the only humane way of managing the stray animal population. Kapsa neuter over 500 animals each year in Kalkan and the surrounding villages. On top of that, we support the belediye village neutering programme days.
Each year the programme starts again around early November. A feeder will register with Kapsa and they will provide the tag numbers of dogs they are now feeding and photos of the cats. If a dog is untagged it may have lost its tag over the years but we have a registration system so we will check that the dog has been neutered and identify it. If not neutered, we will spring into action to resolve that with a trip to the vets.
We have a responsibility to ensure the food goes to the right animals. It has not been unknown for people will come to get free food because it’s free. Sadly they may not even be feeding street animals. Of course most people are very honest and want to help the animals and they understand the need for checks. We also want to make sure one dog isn’t going to several people and other animals are getting nothing.
People are wonderful and they will supplement the food we give them by cooking pasta, rice and even chicken. These animals are used to human food and often prefer it.
Hard work has gone into clearing out parts of HQ to create an area for food distribution. We have agreements with suppliers about how and when we receive the food. This year, the cost of food, like everything else, has risen dramatically and we need your support more than ever.
We have a feeder who takes food for the harbour dogs, these dogs can find things particularly hard. It would not be good to hear that they have become disruptive because of hunger, they are used to lots of attention and a good source of exciting food.
Some people are incredibly generous, feeding animals alongside their own and do not ask for or want food.
How Can You Help With the Winter Feeding Program?
We are always seeking more volunteers, especially in areas of Kalkan not yet covered. In this way we can ensure that all the animals are fed. If anyone knows where there are cats or dogs that may need feeding please contact us.
As you can see from figures quoted at the top of this page, your continued support across winter is so vital and appreciated. Every penny spent on winter food supplies is another dog or cat not going hungry this winter. Please visit our Donate page if you can make a small contribution to the 2019/20 Winter Feeding Program.