By Stephanie Harrison-Croft and Elizabeth Stowell ….
Hope 4 Pets North Cyprus ….
Hope 4 Pets were alerted to the problem in Alsancak by the couple involved at the heart of this incident Mark and Liz Gladwin, who understandably were upset and angry to be told by Mr Enver Ozbirim of the law enforcement office at the Alsancak Belediye, when he went to their house, that they had to hand over 3 of their dogs as there was now a rule that only 3 dogs per household were allowed and the 3 dogs confiscated would be taken to Girne Pound.
H4P started to investigate this, and during the day various communications were sent to the Alsancak Belediye by phone, email and facebook. We also contacted Girne Pound who said they would not accept dogs from Alsancak and they were full anyway.
H4P also sent an e-mail to the British High Commission to ask their advice regarding the legality of enforcing this rule. H4P also liaised with other animal welfare groups.
All were told there would be a meeting held the next day at the Belediye offices. Unfortunately as 2 out of the 3 members of our admin team were in the UK it was not possible for us to attend, but we asked for information on what occurred to be relayed back to us. We were informed that at the meeting Mr Ozbirim had ‘jumped the gun’ and the rule was not in place for existing residents of Alsancak with over 3 dogs – Only new residents. How is this enforceable?
H4P received a reply back from the British High Commission on 29th August, stating that they were unable to become involved in such matters as consular staff are not legally trained, and given that the Veterinary Department suggests there is no such law, the best people to advise the legality of this is a lawyer.
They did however give us the details of the Ombudsman’s Office where we could refer the matter if we did not receive a satisfactory response from the Belediye.
We have been informed that the Alsancak Belediye are planning to hold a further meeting with the animal welfare groups, residents etc. It is Hope 4 Pets opinion that all the groups wishing to voice their objections to this unenforceable law should all show a united front with one lawyer and fight the Alsancak Belediye to have as big an impact as possible.
All the animal welfare groups on the island want the same thing, better laws in place to safeguard the rights of animals in the TRNC, not regulations that force family pets back onto the streets.