In Istanbul it is estimated that over 150,000 stray dogs roam the streets. While many look happy and easy-go-lucky, life as a stray dog is far from easy. One company called Pugedon is making a huge change for the stray dogs in Istanbul with their latest idea.
Pugedo Smart Recycling Boxes are the perfect solution, they help boost recycling and feed stray dogs at the same time. When you deposit a water bottle into one of the Pugedon machines, it instantly dispenses dog food for the strays to come by and eat. There is also a water bowl you can fill up with any excess water in your bottles.
The dog food is fully paid for by the recycled water bottles, making the machine a win-win for all. Plus, it helps make recycling more fun because residents see their efforts immediately going to good use.Not everyone loves having the stray dogs around, some worry about the spread of diseases and violent dogs. But back in 2012, when a draft was proposed by the city to help alleviate the streets of cats and dogs, residents fought back.
The proposal stated dogs and cats considered strays would be rounded up off the streets and taken to undisclosed “natural habitat parks.” The proposal was met with serious backlash from the community.
The dogs and cats have roamed these streets for many years, and are considered a part of the landscape to those who call Istanbul home. Hamit Yilmaz Ozcan is one of the long-time residents in favor of the stray dogs, “There are the neighborhood’s dogs. They protect us and everyone loves them.” Which means there is all the more reason to recycle water bottles, in aims of helping the dogs have a nice meal to eat. Still, Istanbul government officials remain confused why residents don’t want to remove the dogs, considering relocation could provide a better life for dogs, away from the hardships of the streets. The Government says the animals would be taken to national parks located on the outskirts of town, where people could come visit and even adopt the dogs as one of their own.
Animal rights groups have their doubts about the government’s promises, and fear they have far more sinister plans to reduce the population of strays. One of the most prominent animal rights activists living in Turkey, Emel Yidiz, comments on the matter, “The intention is to massacre these animals in a place where people will not see it.” As of now, the only way the population is controlled is by municipal authorities, who round up the strays to spay or neuter them. They then tag their ear and place them back out on the street. At least now with the Pugedon machines the stray animals have a consistent source of food. Children and adults alike love filling up the recycling center as the hungry dogs line up for supper.
Not only does this system give the dogs a better quality of life, it also helps guarantee that the strays stick around. This makes many locals happy because the feral dogs and cats are considered a cultural thing in Turkey, as they have populated the area for generations.
Many of the dogs are considered local celebrities, they frequent even the most crowded parts of town where shop owners and locals tend to the dogs as need be. One of these famous dogs is an overly large Rottweiler they call Nazli.
According to a local cafe worker, Kubilat Bircan, the dog acquired her large size because, “Everyone loves her. The shopkeepers feed her with different things: fish and meat mainly. We all take care of her…” The same story is true for many of Istanbul’s street dogs.
Now thanks to Pugedo recycling centers it’s easier to take care of all the dogs living in the streets of Istanbul, even the ones without a well-known name.
You can see exactly how the machine works by watching this video: