(Xinhua) Turkish pet lovers feel pressure amid rising inflation and rising cost of living

A dog at the 3rd Ankara Pet Products Fair in Ankara, Turkey, on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya / Xinhua)

ANKARA, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) — Multi-decade high inflation and rising cost of living in Turkey have burdened pet owners and animal shelters at a time when everything, including the essentials for fur owners, has become increasingly costly amid a sharp decline in household purchasing power.

“We are struggling because of price hikes, pet food prices have gone up significantly because most of the premium pet food is imported, and with the lira falling against the euro and the dollar, the prices have gone up,” said dog trainer Eis Onderoglu. He was attending PETZOO, a weekend event hosted in the capital, Ankara, as the country’s largest pet fair.

Two dogs at the 3rd Ankara Pet Products Fair in Ankara, Turkey, on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya / Xinhua)

Turkey is experiencing an economic slowdown marked by inflation exceeding 80%, the highest level since 1998, and the continuing depreciation of its national currency, the lira, which has lost more than 22% of its value against the US dollar over the past eight months.

“Our costs have gone up: electricity, natural gas, transportation, manufacturing. All these costs are reflected in our products for consumers who are not at all happy with the prices,” said Kerim Keci, President of the Bosphorus Company. Company that produces dog and cat food.

A dog at the 3rd Ankara Pet Products Fair in Ankara, Turkey, on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya / Xinhua)

Turkey has a well-established culture of community care for animals, especially street cats and dogs. But the country’s current financial problems have made it increasingly difficult for the public to maintain this culture.

“We are receiving much less food donations from the public since the beginning of the year, and it is becoming more and more difficult to care for our animals,” Volkan Koc, co-founder of the Klap Village near Ankara, told Xinhua.

Batilikoy, a charitable organization-run dog village in the capital’s lakeside district of Golbasi, is dedicated to rehabilitating more than 700 rescued dogs.

A dog trainer and a dog at the 3rd Ankara Pet Products Fair in Ankara, Turkey, on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya / Xinhua)

“Sometimes our animals eat once or nothing a day. We depend entirely on donations and in times of crisis, our shelter is not a priority,” Koge lamented.

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