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This Man Turned His Farm Into An Animal Shelter That Not Only Has Dogs And Cats But Also Other Animals Such As Horses, Seagulls And Others
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Animals5 months ago

This Man Turned His Farm Into An Animal Shelter That Not Only Has Dogs And Cats But Also Other Animals Such As Horses, Seagulls And Others Interview With Owner

The need to help stray animals changed the life of a certain person in Turkey. Today we’d like for you to meet Mert Akkök, who has a private animal shelter on his farm near Istanbul. His animal sanctuary welcomes stray animals that need extra love and care, and if you think it’s only dogs or cats that are under his care… well, prepare to be surprised. Mert has around 20 dogs, plus several cats, goats, donkeys, birds, and other animals one might find unusual. Akkök makes it his daily routine to take care of all of them, whether they may be sick, disabled, or just homeless before they happened to find their way into his shelter. He makes sure to give each of his animals the extra love they need as they all live together like one big family.

Bored Panda reached out to Mert to find out a little bit more about the animals he has rescued so far.

“I have between 10 to 20 dogs on my farm. I rescue them from junkyards, forests, rural areas outside of the city. I try to find homes for them. Some of them stay with me forever. Especially very old and sick ones. Nobody wants to adopt them. Plus I have 46 disabled seagulls, 1 blind horse, 3 geese (they have a long story), 3 cats, and just today I adopted a baby donkey. For the time being, I have 23 dogs. Most of them are old or disabled.”

More info: Instagram

Meet Mert Akkök, a man who has a private animal shelter on his farm near Istanbul, Turkey

Image credits: mertakkoek

We wanted to know a little bit about how Mert became the compassionate and animal-loving person he is today.

“I was born with this. It is not something I have decided or thought of. It is more like an instinct mounted in me. I can’t stop helping homeless animals.”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

We thought that perhaps some of the animals stay with Mert for only a dedicated amount of time, however, this is what the animal-loving man shared with us, “I run into these animals by myself. Because in Turkey the government is not allowed to kill homeless animals or to put them in shelters for life. This is banned by law (which is very good).

Our government has to neuter and vaccinate them and then put them back on the streets. So they are everywhere. Anybody in Istanbul can see many homeless cats and dogs wandering around in the city. But some of them are dumped outside of the city because there are so many. And these ones have big difficulties in surviving. People like me (I am not the only one) try to take them food regularly.

Sometimes we do it individually, or sometimes we form groups of volunteers to do this.

You asked if there is a deadline for them to stay with me… Well, no, they are here forever if they don’t get re-adopted. And I wouldn’t just give them to anyone who wants them. They are like my children now. I can give them only to decent and good people who may take very good care of them. So the readers, if you want, can contact me on Instagram (I am not active on Facebook. Please write there if possible). You can ask to adopt one of the dogs from my area, not necessarily from my farm. There are hundreds of homeless dogs in the area where I live. I believe we can together find a way to transfer them to the USA.”

“I have between 10 to 20 dogs on my farm. I rescue them from junkyards, forests, rural areas, etc. I try to find homes for them. Some of them stay with me forever,” he told us when asked about the dogs

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

We were also wondering whether Mert received any kind of help from other people as well.

“This is not my job or the main thing in life. I am a small business owner. I own and manage my company which is a consultancy company for international marketing of healthcare services. I am a busy person. But the times that I am not working, I devote my time to help these homeless animals (mostly dogs that try to live in the forests, junkyards, countryside areas on their own without anyone caring for them. We have packs of them everywhere).”

Image credits: mertakkoek

However, dogs aren’t the only animals that stay at Mert’s sanctuary

Image credits: mertakkoek

We were also curious about how Mert’s life was before he moved into the farm.

“In the past, I used to live in the city and go to the outskirts of the city to help these homeless dogs on the weekend. Some of these dogs I adopted myself because I couldn’t leave them where they lived. They needed care. So I started with one dog and when the number of my dogs reached 5, I decided to move to a village and settle in a farmhouse. Because I wanted to give more space to my dogs and to adopt more of them.
After I moved to the farmhouse. I brought in more dogs who needed special care and protection. And I adopted a blind horse. She was a baby when I adopted her. Now she is 3 years old.

One day I found an injured seagull on the side of a highway and took it to the veterinarian. She got operated and one wing was so badly fractured the vet had to cut it off. I couldn’t leave her anywhere because I knew she would die without being able to fly.”

Image credits: mertakkoek

“So I took her home with me and made a large den for her. Soon some other animal-lover people heard about this and they started asking me if I would accept another disabled seagull. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one running into injured or disabled seagulls.

The numbers grew rapidly. Now I have 46 disabled seagulls living in my garden. I feed them fresh fish every day.

They can’t fly. They walk.

I have people working for me at the farm. They are full-time employees taking care of my animal friends and the household. But I don’t get voluntary help or donations from anyone. I don’t ask for donations either. I am economically well off. I can handle myself and the cost of providing my animal friends with their needs.”

Image credits: mertakkoek

“I have 46 disabled seagulls, 1 blind horse, and 3 geese (they all have long stories to them)”

Image credits: mertakkoek

We also wanted to find out how the daily life at the farm looks like.

“My daily life on the farm: I wake up early. I walk my dogs to the forest. I have a truck and I drive them to some quiet areas in the forest near my village where they run and play in the forest and then we come back home. I feed and cater my horse and play music to her. She loves it when I play to her with my saxophone. Then I feed my seagull friends and the cats. I finish with the geese, they get to eat the last.

Then I go to my office in the city and work. I try to come back home early.

I always have some dog food in the trunk of my car. So on my way to the city and back, I stop by some areas where colonies of homeless dogs live. I feed them and then continue to drive.

Sometimes when I see that one of them has a health problem, I take that one to the veterinary clinic. After the treatment, if the dog can continue their life in the same area, I take them back to the same place. But if the vet tells me that they need special care, I take that one home with me.”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“I also have 3 cats, and just today I adopted a baby donkey!”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“For the time being, I have 23 dogs. Most of them are unfortunately either old or disabled,” Mert shared with us

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“I run into these animals myself. Because in Turkey, the government is not allowed to do them any harm or leave them in shelters for life”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“Our government has to neuter and vaccinate the animals and then put them back on the streets. So they are everywhere. Anybody in Istanbul can see many homeless cats and dogs wandering around in the city”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“This is not my job or the main thing in life. I am a small business owner. I own and manage my company which is a consultancy company for international marketing of healthcare services”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“I am a busy person. But at the times that I am not working, I devote my time to help these homeless animals”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“I have people working for me at the farm. They are full-time employees taking care of my animal friends and the household. But I don’t get voluntary help or donations from anyone”

Image credits: mertakkoek

Image credits: mertakkoek

“These animals are like my children now. I can give them only to decent and good people who will take very good care of them, but before that, they will always have me”

Image credits: mertakkoek

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Kookamunga
Community Member
5 months ago

Mert, you are an angel walking the earth. Thanks for all you do!

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
5 months ago

Not all heroes wear capes. This man is a hero.

Etuk Akan
Community Member
5 months ago

Having one pet is a lot of work, devoting his time to a lot of animals is just passion. Respect

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Tolga ÜSTÜN
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

That is a lovely story. Thank you and bravo Mert. Etrafında güzellik, iyilik eksik olmasın dostum.

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Kookamunga
Community Member
5 months ago

Mert, you are an angel walking the earth. Thanks for all you do!

Nikki Sevven
Community Member
5 months ago

Not all heroes wear capes. This man is a hero.

Etuk Akan
Community Member
5 months ago

Having one pet is a lot of work, devoting his time to a lot of animals is just passion. Respect

Load More Replies...
Tolga ÜSTÜN
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

That is a lovely story. Thank you and bravo Mert. Etrafında güzellik, iyilik eksik olmasın dostum.

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