I am trying to re-home Fric and Frac
By Ergün Güçlüer
Let me introduce myself, my name is Ergün Güçlüer. I moved to Northern Cyprus in 2009 and to be honest I have no previous experience nor any particular like for pets because I am allergic to them amongst many other things. So I have enjoyed them at arm’s length. In September of this year things would change dramatically.
A Canadian colleague of mine from was told his work permit would not be renewed and his services were no longer required. Although it was no business of my own I asked what he intended to do with his three dogs. After a week or so he told me he wanted to take the mother dog Krull, a Rottweiler with him to the Dominican Republic. Then it dawned on me that Fric and Frac would become homeless.
Fric and Frac were born because the owner had not neutered Krull. The father we believe is a Mastiff. Fric and Frac were born in January 2013. They were the only survivors of a litter of five. The owner admittedly tried to give the pups away when they were very young, but they cried for days on end and were returned to him. He then felt he could not give them away. They are house-trained, but very shy as they have had no contact with other dogs or people.
That night I could not sleep. I kept seeing dead dogs laying by the roadside and starving dogs wandering the streets looking for their next meal. My conscience could not let this happen. I had to do something about it. The next day I told my colleague I would try and find homes for the dogs.
The next couple of weeks I was to find out how very difficult it would be to find new homes for these dogs. I decided to use my facebook account to tell everyone I knew about the dogs. Later I joined various forums and “animal caring” groups. At first there were no responses. Time was fast running out as my colleague would be leaving in a couple of days.
Suddenly, all within one week I had four calls from would be owners. The first person agreed to take Fric and Frac, but rang me on the morning I was due to go visit his home to say he decided he did not want them as they were not “pure breeds”. Later the same day, I received another call from a man in Girne. He had seen the dogs on my facebook and he “had to have them”. The man lived on the second floor of an apartment block and planned on keeping the dogs on the roof. A few days later I was contacted via a third party by a man in Lefkosa who said “he was very interested and could I bring the dogs to him today?” The fact that he had no transport of his own set off alarm bells in my head. On further questioning, he came across as being very uncomfortable until finally he snapped and said “what do you care about what I do with the dogs, aren’t you just trying to get rid of them?” He had a withheld his number.
So finally the day came, my colleague was leaving the island. Fric and Frac were going to become homeless. I had failed to find them homes. To make things worse the company taking Krull to Dominica could not move him as it was Bayram and it would be another six days. Six days eventually ended up as twelve days. My colleague had gone and I was left with three dogs. I phoned a number of Kennels both voluntary and private businesses only to be turned away. Apparently, pounds only take dogs that are found on the street, not left in rented accommodation. So if I had abandoned them too and someone else found them and handed them in, that would have been acceptable. Very strange!
Eventually, I found them a privately owned kennel in Kaplica and negotiated a price for them for six days until Krull would be leaving. This was later extended. Someone also agreed to foster Frac and so the dogs were separated. On the first day of Bayram I found Frac back at the house running loose in the garden. He had been abandoned without any notice. For the next week I went every morning and evening to feed Frac and clean out his pen. All this time he was scared and he would never approach me.
I needed help. I could no longer do this all by myself. My facebook statuses were getting greyer every day and I could not sleep through worry. I spoke to a couple of so called animal welfare groups/kennels and was told that “they were problem animals and the kindest thing I could was to have them put down”. The owner also said that if I could not find homes for them in two weeks, I would have a difficult decision to make. I could not believe my ears. Here I was trying to help these animals only to be told to have them put down. I cannot live with myself having blood on my hands. That only made me more determined to help these dogs.
A lady called Steph from Hope 4 Pets North Cyprus and her husband Bill, kindly helped me catch Frac and place him back in his pen. I had planned to take Frac to Kaplica too but decided it would be better to have the dogs nearby so I could tend to them. We placed all the dogs at the house in Zeytinlik until Krull left for Dominica.
I continued to take care of Fric and Frac there until last Tuesday (21st October) when I was told they had to be removed from the premises that very day. Once again I was rescued by Steph and Bill, who helped me move the dogs to Petline in Catalkoy, where they are now.
I still visit Fric and Frac almost every day and take them for walks. They smell my scent from the moment my car arrives and get so excited while they are with me. Sadly, I can hear them crying until I am out of range. Their shyness is improving and I have arranged for Frac to be finally castrated.
Ideally, these dogs need someone to love them. They will be rewarded tenfold. If possible they should be kept together at this stage, but in a couple of weeks I am confident they could be separated. I am hoping somewhere soon there is a person or persons willing to take these lovely dogs on. If the cost of taking these dogs is an issue, there are animal lovers willing to donate food, blankets and take them for walks etc.
I cannot take all the credit for taking care of Fric and Frac. I have been very lucky to receive financial help and donations from group members of Hope 4 Pets and Kibkom forum. I am very grateful, as I do not know what I would have done without their help. Maria Vic from Hope 4 Pets has been supporting and full of advice throughout. Marion Stuart has also kindly ran an article in the Kibkom newspaper. Fric and Frac have also appeared in Cyprus Weekly too. This Wednesday Can Gazi will be broadcasting a radio interview held with myself on his Northern Exposure program at 5pm on Bayrak International Radio.
Witnessing through the ordeal of Fric and Frac are going through has made me appreciate how serious the issue of stray dogs is in Northern Cyprus. I would like to make a difference and help. I have decided to do a sponsored 500 km walk by the end of November. All the proceeds will go to purchase kennels for the Lefkosa Pound. Sponsorship forms can be found at Petline, Catalkoy. Donations can be made online (click to donate) gofund.me/geb0cg or by private messaging me, Ergün Güçlüer on Facebook or sending an SMS to 0533 882 2740 with your name, location, contact number and the amount you wish to sponsor me.