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Turkish Professor Advocates for Humane Treatment of Stray Dogs

In response to the growing population of stray dogs in Istanbul, a professor has proposed a solution. The dean of the Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Hasan Alpak, advocates for a compassionate approach to address this issue. His solution prioritizes the welfare of both the city’s residents and its stray animals.

Professor of Veterinary Medicine argues for humane response to Istanbul’s stray dog problem

Dean Hasan Alpak of the Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, a prominent university in Istanbul, is advocating for a compassionate approach to address the city’s ongoing stray dog issue, as per Hürriyet Daily News.

In Alpak’s words, “The number of dogs on the streets has been increasing in recent years due to abandoned animals and the uncontrolled growth of the animal population. Our proposal on the subject is based on maintaining the well-being of animals.”

Additionally, the dean disclosed that Istanbul is home to approximately 400,000 stray dogs. The largest populations of these canines reside in Sutangazi, Pendik, Kartal, Eyüp, and Sutangazi. 

He suggested that 300 university students from 4th and 5th years could volunteer to address the issue. He emphasized the need for collaboration among municipalities, the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, the General Directorate of Nature Conservation, and National Parks. However, he noted that the number of workers these organizations can assign is insufficient for the issue at hand. 

In addition, Dean Alpak asserted that the project could commence with the provision of materials and the establishment of sterilization operation areas by the municipalities. He further explained that sterilization will diminish dogs’ aggressive behavior as their hormonal structure undergoes changes. 

According to Alpak’s projections, the dog population in Istanbul would begin to decline within five years, with the number reducing to 50,000 within a decade due to natural deaths resulting from aging. 

When it comes to dog attacks, Alpak highlighted the significance of identifying the pack leader to avoid such incidents. He advises observing dogs’ body language instead of making direct eye contact. Moreover, he cautioned against attempting to outrun them due to their speed. Instead, the dean recommended staying calm during encounters, as dogs can detect human adrenaline levels. 

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