by Alan Kennedy

First of all, I must apologise for writing two months’ reports in one. We went on a diving holiday at the end of October and for most of the next 17 days we had no telephone and no internet, our world was limited to a 34 metre boat and the wonderful features and creatures beneath it.

ARK has been on a roller-coaster for the last two months. We started October full of optimism; many visitors had arrived, hotels, and restaurants were busy. There were no serious infections around, people were feeding the street animals, some of those we had been feeding had found homes, others had moved to more populated areas and we anticipated being able to end our feeding programme, if only temporarily. Unfortunately, the expense of our programme had depleted our funds to their lowest level in more than two years and we had insufficient to meet our food and vets’ bills. Luckily our small but generous band of donors rescued us once more and our finances are now just about sound again, inşallah.

We have welcomed some young, enthusiastic and hardworking volunteers to our team; Sibel, Ruya, Gill and Simon have joined Liz, Mandy, Brenda and Jane helping at the shelter. They’ve brought new ideas and are making a big difference. We’re hoping that other new recruits will soon be able to join them and old members return. Serap has joined our feeding team at Long Beach, assisted by her lovely daughters, and will also contribute to our marketing and fundraising work. She and Rüya have also offered to help with translation.

Our friends at Apple continue to support us and are recruiting new members of their team.

November saw a tightening of restrictions, bars, restaurants, schools and many businesses closed and we’re almost back to the state we were in in April. Fortunately, there are not quite so many starving animals around now as there were then, but we have noticed an influx of un-neutered street dogs. Our volunteers are working with Sami and his team at the shelter and our panel of vets to try to prevent the town being inundated with puppies; this is likely to prove to be very expensive.The new restrictions have meant that Ann and I are confined to our home for most of the time and can do no more than go online to thank our supporters. Our stalwarts of the committee, Brenda, Jane and TC Banu are doing all of the hard work and are ably assisted by new members Trudy, Claire and Mandy; we are very much reduced to being back seat passengers.

Over the last two months our vets have treated 148 sick and injured homeless animals at a total cost of 35,058tl; 63 cats and 4 dogs were neutered. Our feeding teams have distributed 1.8 tonnes of food, costing 8,059tl.We haven’t treated as many animals as normal in the last two weeks, there have not been so many seriously injured, probably because of the lack of vehicles on the roads and we’ve had no outbreaks of serious diseases – long may it continue. We have, however, had a number of animals requiring long periods of convalescence and post treatment care and have been very grateful for the wonderful facilities provided by Chantal at Bird Island Farm and Claire and Ibo at Lilly’s Place , but of course we have to provide the treatment.

We’re looking forward to December with confidence; hopefully the weather will continue to be kind; we have a fantastic team of volunteers and supporters, we’re just about solvent and there are not quite so many starving animals around, though food prices have increased by between 15% and 20% in the last week.

We currently have a number of long-term convalescent patients needing our support. If you would like to help us to provide for them and the other needy homeless animals and support our all-important neutering programme, please visit:
Thank you all for caring, take care and stay safe.