Animal welfare campaigners in Turkey are staging a concert to help stray dogs and cats, asking music fans to give pet food as the price of admission.
The activists, who dubbed themselves “Edirne Paws,” will come together to help street animals in the northwestern city as winter approaches. “What makes this concert important is preventing street animals from staying hungry over the winter” organizer Sema Selçuk said.
Fans will not be able to pay money to see the concert on Dec. 6, which will feature local bands and artists performing under the slogan “Not with money, but with food.” Instead they will be asked to donate pet food according to their means.
“It can be with 2 [Turkish] liras worth of pet food or 10 liras worth” Selçuk said.
Fellow activist Nuray Patoglu said the food would be stored and used carefully to feed the city’s needy animals during the cold season.
Edirne Paws, which was founded by a group of animal-lovers 18 months ago, raises awareness about street animals on social media.
“In particular, we feed the animals that are thrown on the street and do our best to provide them with medical treatment” Selçuk said.
“We are constantly feeding animals and traveling door-to-door seeking leftover food or bread for the animals. We are few in number and mostly female and sometimes we carry up to 50 kilograms of food on our own” she added.
Edirne province, which borders Greece and Bulgaria, typically sees temperatures fall below freezing during the winter. Like most Turkish towns and cities it has a significant population of street cats and dogs who are largely cared for by local residents.
Although pet ownership is not as common in Turkey as in western Europe and the U.S., most streets are cluttered with bowls of food and water left for strays, which are often treated as neighborhood pets.
Other animals are cared for by local municipalities and the Edirne shelter currently houses 300 dogs and 20 cats. The authority also provides “Mamamatik” food dispensers for street animals.