'Four tons of food supplied daily to dog shelters,' says Erbil Governor
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw visited a stray dog shelter in Erbil on Saturday, where he held a press conference.
"Over 3,000 stray dogs have been transferred to the shelter in a very orderly manner from January 10 to the present,” the governor revealed.
The shelter is built on 20 acres of land in the Lajana area, 15 kilometers from the center of Erbil. The project costs more than USD$344,000 and about USD$7,600 are needed monthly to round them up.
The goal of the program is to vaccinate stray dogs in order to prevent diseases from spreading after they attack.
Furthermore, Khoshnaw stated that 80 dogs are transferred to the shelters daily and this has "resulted in a significant decrease in dog attacks."
All the dogs in the shelters have food, drinking water, shade, and protection from rain. “Approximately four tons of food are provided to the dogs daily, and some restaurants in Erbil are required to provide some food for the dogs, which is delivered to the shelter on a daily basis,” he further noted.
Moreover, the Erbil Governor emphasized that the Erbil stray dog shelters are the best in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. “Journalists can enter the shelter and take pictures of the dogs' accommodation and food,” he reaffirmed.
Unofficial figures show there are more than 21,000 stray dogs in Erbil Province. More than 300 cases of attacks by stray dogs have been registered in the past four months in the province.
The largest number of stray dogs in Erbil Province is in the Daratu sub-district.
Lacking any pedigree system to identify ancestry, stray dogs in the Kurdistan Region are believed to be mostly of Turkish Kangal stock, yet the dogs are also reputed to have descended from two other breeds, the Armenian Gampr and Kurdish Mastiff (‘Pishdar’), among others. Compared to other Caucasian canines, a pure Turkish Kangal is identified by its distinct black muzzle and ears in contrast with its beige coat.
Yet a common characteristic of these breeds is their domestication as livestock guardians, protecting herds of sheeps and goats from wolves. Known for their muscular builds, these breeds are adapted to harsh weather and mountainous conditions.