Murat Şahin climbs onto his dusty motorbike and holds his breath as he turns the key, hoping the engine will start. His trip is important because he’s going to feed more than 100 dogs in forest of Aydos in Istanbul, Turkey. Dozens of cats living along the rocky coastal walls are waiting for him too.
Murat’s mission is important to him, it’s a spiritual calling in fact, and he is deeply devoted to serving the hungry animals.
Murat does take some animals to the veterinarian for spay/neuter, but it isn’t always feasible. Some of the animals are wild, and without a car, he can’t bring a trap or transport them easily. He also doesn’t have the funds to do sponsor spay/neuter on a wide scale on his own.
“Murat has never asked for any help,” fellow volunteer Anna Efe explains. “He has always used his own money and collected food a restaurant and a local canteen. Also, some butchers were giving him leftovers free of charge. But this year the situation has changed. The butchers stopped giving leftovers for free and, on top of that, Murat’s old motorbike was stolen. It was his only way to deliver food to the forest dogs.”
Though Murat did manage to find a very low-priced bike to replace the stolen one, the replacement bike frequently breaks down. In fact, it broke down immediately after the filming of the video on this page.
Better Days Ahead
The Harmony Fund charity, based in the USA, is working on a little surprise for Murat. We are attempting to raise funds to purchase a reliable, used car for Murat’s rescue work. The car would have several advantages over the bike including carrying larger quantities of food, transporting animals to the veterinarian and safer transportation during bad weather.