Category Archives: Vaccination

When is a Vet not a Vet?

Riddle: When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar!
Today we’re asking the serious question, when is a vet not a vet?  And the answer, apparently, is when they’re just a kennel hand, a neighbour, or even just an opportunistic scammer.

It’s with profound sadness that we learnt from yesterday’s news of the many pets that have died on the Cape Flats, after owners were lured by the promise of cheap treatment by fake vets posing as qualified professionals. These imposters caused the death of pets by administering incorrect treatments and vaccinations, and endangered many others.

Facing expensive vet bills can be a burden on the family’s finances, and you should never have to choose. Pets deserve proper treatment from a registered vet. According to Cape Town Etc, families interviewed after their losses are now imploring others not to be taken in by these fake operations in Cape Town’s suburbs.  They are easy to spot, as they are generally someone recommended by a friend, they offer routine care treatment (vaccinations, deworming and tick & flea control) for as little as R150, they often do not look at pets’ health cards, and, the biggest attraction of all, some provide services in the comfort of your home, something that many on the Cape Flats are grateful for, as transport is not always readily available.

Investigations are proving that those who are perpetuating this insidious practice are not qualified in any area of animal health care, although some have proven to be involved in the industry, either as kennel hands, backyard breeders, and in one case, a security guard.

What then is the alternative?  The obvious answer would be to seek professional veterinary advice and treatment only from a registered vet or welfare organization, but for many these costs are too steep.

Image Credit: Kaz/Pixabay

Pet insurance is one of the fastest growing industries in South Africa, and this is a good thing, because it is leading to healthier, happier pets. Owners can now afford the rising costs of looking after their furkids. Pet insurance provides peace of mind, knowing that when something goes wrong, like the deadly parvovirus (that was misdiagnosed by fake vets), their pets can receive the best vet treatment without worries of affordability, and families having to make devastating, difficult choices.

We cover the cost of treatments for accidents and illnesses, contribute towards routine care, and offer a host of other benefits that include dental care, rehabilitation, general and holistic wellness, supplements, and behaviour. We even offer chronic care for pets who develop illnesses that require lengthy or even lifelong treatment.

So the question then is no longer “Can I afford this?” but rather “How can I not?
Where can I join?” The answer is simple: here

Image Credit: Balouriarajesh/Pixabay

New Year New You

Welcome to 2019, and the Year of the Pig, according to the Chinese zodiac.

While we may not cover those cute, pink little snouts, we do cover dogs and cats, and while you’re busy making your New Year’s Resolutions, we’d like to slip another little one in there…

When we see the number of unwanted and shelter pets in South Africa today, we cannot endorse pet gift giving, but it does still happen.  If you’ve been a recipient of a new furry friend for Christmas, or even if you’ve just adopted a shelter pet over the holiday season, there are many reasons as a responsible pet owner, to consider investing in pet insurance.

We all know things can happen, and they do, but just as we always assume “that’ll never happen to me” – until it does, the same applies with our pets.

We budget for their general wellbeing and things like sterilization, micro-chipping and  annual vaccinations.  We buy them the best food, and as many toys as they can play with, but we never really think of the big things that can happen. For example, a fun afternoon at the park or on the beach could result in an attack from another dog.  Or running into the road to retrieve the favourite ball in a game of fetch, the unthinkable happens.

These are realities that we only acknowledge when they occur, and we are usually not prepared for them.

That’s why, just like human medical aid, pet insurance makes sense.  It ensures that when something does happen (and it doesn’t have to be just an accident – treatments for illnesses can be expensive too), you’re prepared.  Because being prepared means you only have to worry about what’s important, your pet’s health, and not what it costs.

MediPet offers the most comprehensive coverage across multiple policy options.

Our Option 1 offers classic, day-to-day, affordable cover for illness, accidents and holistic wellness.

Option 2 offers ultimate, worry-free coverage for illness, accidents, dental, prescription food and holistic wellness.

Accident Only offers basic unforeseen accident cover geared towards our golden oldies.

Top Pet is a revolutionary routine care add on that offers an annual benefit towards the general wellness of your pet, including sterilization, micro-chipping, vaccinations, de-worming and tick and flea control.

Our holistic wellness support contributes towards hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, supplements, rehabilitation care, behavior, homeopathy and acupuncture.

So what makes us different to other service providers?  For a start, at MediPet, we’re all about pets, so we understand what you need from us.  Our personal, individualized service means no call center agents or long holds.  You’ll be given fast, direct access to a team member every step of the way.

MediPet policies are simple and our customers love that we fulfill our promises.

Our full-time vet and veterinary nurse deal directly with practices, ensuring faster and more successful claims.

We are proudly sub-limit free when it comes to claims on accidents, illnesses and injuries!

And all breeds are welcome with us. Isn’t that nice to hear?

Are there any catches?

Absolutely not.

We don’t hide anything in the fine print and if you read your policy you won’t find any nasty surprises. Insurance companies do, however, have to make tough decisions, so while we rarely deny anyone coverage, sometimes we’ll create a unique plan for those with special needs.

Image Credit: Daria Shevtsova

Pet owners choose us because our unmatched 93% claim success makes us your most popular choice. We process more than R4 million in claims every month!

On top of that, we give piece of mind, by processing claims within an average of 10 working days of receiving all the necessary supporting documentation, and refunds follow shortly after.

Pets choose us because we show we care passionately with our lost pet advertising & rewards, theft and consolation contributions. And don’t forget boarding fees allow them to go on their own little holiday when owners cannot care for them!

Image Credit: Gellinger / 3272 images

And vets choose us because we make their lives a little easier with our proven track record in paying out claims, and by keeping you and your furry family happy.

Every pet deserves MediPet. So do you.

What we’re doing to stay pawsome

We’re passionate about pets –  that’s all we do. We won’t try to add-on car insurance when you claim for Fluffy’s vaccinations. We don’t have a splashy corporate marketing budget. What we will do is provide genuine, comprehensive cover. Using our veterinary qualifications, we motivate your claims with our underwriters, and review your policies on a knowledgeable case-by-case basis. Our pet-loving team faithfully and honestly partner with you every step of the way.

At MediPet we also work hard at balancing the challenge of keeping up with innovation while affording the rising international vet costs affected by the weak rand. We work hard to limit changes, because affordability is important, but we are also responsible about continuing to cover increasing vet bills. Keeping our word matters to us, and so does making sure we can continue to be there when you need us. When times get tough, we insist on not compromising your benefits, and we also don’t sneak in new T’s & C’s. We don’t suddenly try to tell you which vets you can visit, how much they can charge or what treatments they can do!

Interim adjustments are rare for us, and it’s important to us to keep our loyal members like you. Delaying adjustments to once or twice a year means you enjoy considerable savings, but we do need to rectify the situation every now and again. We can’t escape the reality when we face interim premium increases, which at first may seem disappointing. So let us take a moment to explain how MediPet works.

Image Credit: Stocksnap / 27601 Images

Starting at the beginning, MediPet isn’t medical aid, although it may sometimes seem so because many benefits don’t incur excesses and we contribute towards some day-to-day needs such as routine care. But we’re really here to insure against the bigger things that happen in life. Simply put, you pay a small amount every month, to save yourself a possibly devastating bill down the road that you can’t afford.

MediPet is short-term medical insurance cover. This is an agreement, based on the constantly changing risks of pets. The most important influence on your policy is your recent claim history. For this reason, we encourage “smart claiming,” where many wise furry families save their claims for the bigger unforeseen expenses that can’t be budgeted for.

If you aren’t a recent claimer, it can be tricky to justify an expense when you aren’t seeing the biggest benefits. But it’s especially vital now to keep your furry friends covered, because of rising vet costs you would otherwise face alone. At any moment a significant illness, accident or emergency could cost you R35 000 for an uninsured pet, which would take more than a decade to save in annual premiums. An average claim is R1 700 and we process 200 of these every day.

What are some ways to save? We offer a multi-pet discount for pet-loving families. Our healthiest pets are also rewarded after 2 claim-free years with a  no claim discount. Our popular Top Dog & Top Cat routine care add-on provides considerable savings and assists with keeping those pesky fleas, ticks, and vaccinatable diseases at bay.

We are thankful 99% of our members choose to stay with us every month. We always want to hear feedback. As always, if you want to chat, or know more, South Africa’s favourite customer service team, your faithful and honest pet insurance partner is here for you.

Email us on hello@medipet.co.za

And remember, if you’re new to the family and partner with us between now and the end of January, you’ll be automatically entered into the sweepstake to win an illustration of your pet by talented artist Syd Illustrations https://www.facebook.com/sydillustrations/

You’re Always a Winner with MediPet

Become a MediPet member before the end of January 2019 and you will automatically be entered into the sweepstakes to win an illustration of your pet by talented artist Syd Illustrations. https://www.facebook.com/sydillustrations/

 

 

Terms and Conditions apply as below:

-This competition is open to new members until the 31st of January only.
-New members are automatically entered and agree to the terms and conditions as set out by MediPet.
-Only one entry will be allocated per new pet member.
-The prize is valid until 31 March 2019 and requires a 7-14 day lead time.
-The prize is not transferrable for cash or policy premiums.
-The winner will be chosen in a random sweepstakes.
-The winner will be notified by email.  If the winner cannot be contacted or does not claim his/her prize within 14 days, MediPet reserves the right to withdraw the prize and pick a replacement winner at random.
-The winner agrees to have their name and pet name published on MediPet social media platforms.
-MediPet’s decision in respect of all matters of the sweepstakes will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

A Victory for Pet Lovers

Last week the ASA (Advertising Standard Authority) made a landmark ruling after a customer lodged a complaint on misleading advertising, and a well-known national pet insurance provider was ordered to immediately withdraw their ad.  This is a breakthrough for pet care, giving voice to what we have been fighting to come to light for some time.

MediPet has been the market leader in pet insurance coverage for more than a decade. Recently, we have seen small brands under the umbrella of large household/car/life insurance companies pop up, using their splashy corporate marketing budgets for national advertising campaigns, that make inaccurate claims and offer “too good to be true” benefits. Some have even gone so far as to post “anonymous” and “neutral” comparative reviews of pet medical aid options, that are inaccurate, biased and misleading. These unethical marketing tactics have until now gone unchallenged, but customers are wizening up and putting a stop to being taken advantage of in this way.

At MediPet we pride ourselves on providing authentic veterinary coverage, and we are committed to transparency, honesty and faithful partnership with our members. While we support competitors’ efforts to assist in providing pet care to the market, we applaud this move to halt dishonest promotion. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight why our members’ appreciation and loyalty has entrenched MediPet’s dominant position in the South African pet insurance market.

The most popular benefit of joining MediPet is our annual maximum of R35 000 towards all accidents, illnesses and emergency treatments for Option 1 and 2. Most other insurance companies set limits on the amount of coverage available for each line item on invoices. For example, the number of x-rays or doctor’s visits covered per year, or a financial limit on hospitalization are often regulated. We contribute up to R35 000 per year in claims for Option 1 & 2, and up to R20 000 on Accident Only, without question. Within these amounts we simply do not prescribe how much can be used for specific treatments.

We also pay the full price of your approved vet bills, and do not attempt to apply a supposed “South African Councils Guideline of Approved Tariffs”, because this was done away with in 2013!

An exciting new add-on benefit, Top Dog/Top Cat, has recently been introduced to contribute towards routine care, including vaccinations, any tick/flea treatment, de-worming, micro chipping and sterilization.

Most pet insurance providers flat out do not cover hereditary or congenital conditions, and some go so far as to exclude certain breeds. MediPet however, will always cover these, on the provision that they are not present prior to application of the policy, or during the applicable waiting periods.

Should your pet develop special needs while under our cover and require chronic care, we work with you, your vet and our underwriters to design a plan specific to your pet’s requirements. Again, this is an area that other providers often do not cover.

MediPet employs a full-time vet and a vet nurse, who assess each claim carefully, partnering with your vet, and dealing directly with the underwriting managers. It is for this reason we are “vet approved” and many of our referrals, in fact, come from satisfied vets. We introduced this special feature, which is covered by your R12 per month vet fee, because most underwriters’ area of expertise is medical aid, and not pet insurance. This has helped MediPet pay out over 93% of claims. We strive to do so within 5-7 working days, and we pay out on average R4m per month in claims. It is standard for all insurance policies across the board to carry a policy administration fee although this is not necessarily to assist with vets and their claims, and the cost of these are often hidden or “worked in” to your premium, so you never really know what that amount is. With MediPet, what you see is what you get. We don’t have any hidden ‘fine print.”

MediPet is the only provider that offers an annual benefit towards complementary, or alternative treatments. And we do so without charging you an excess each time you claim. While all other insurers will cover only mainstream veterinary treatment, MediPet pays out up to R5 000 annually for holistic treatment, R2 000 for supplements and R4 000 for behaviour (not training). We even assist with prescription food for up to 6 months.

There are a number of providers who will not accept your pet if their vaccinations are not up to date, or if they are not micro-chipped or tattooed. At MediPet, while we do not endorse a tardy vaccination record, we will not penalize your pet.  We do, however, strongly recommend vaccinations be kept up to date, and that your pet is both sterilized and micro-chipped. If vaccinations are not up to date for your particular pet, and you submit a claim for a vaccinatable disease, we are unfortunately not able to cover it.

Our underwriters refund claims directly back to you, unless you make specific arrangements with us to pay your vet directly. All we require is a completed claim form and your invoices sent to us within 60 days of initial treatment date. Claims can be emailed, faxed, or hand delivered to us, so the process truly is seamless and easy.

Many people ask why we don’t work with a card-based system, and the answer is simple: It doesn’t work, we don’t need one, and we don’t wish to force our members to have to refund the cash after claims are denied.

MediPet offers both monthly and annual payment options for each policy, and members who select an annual policy save one month’s premium every year. While cheaper policies might be attractive in the short run, you get what you pay for, and often members are disappointed to find out what is NOT covered. We do not offer any misleading  pricing schemes or use unethical marketing tactics to mislead potential members. Please keep in mind when selecting a policy, cheaper plans cover less and pay back less in claims.

MediPet can confidently claim to offer the most comprehensive cover available, and this can be backed up by our more than 10 years as the only dedicated pet insurance broker in the industry.  Our claims history speaks for itself too. We are proud to report that our members have received over R105 million back.

When we ask our members what they appreciate about us most, after authentic policies, it’s our compassionate & caring support team who partner with you as members. We don’t have a big call centre with long waits. In fact, you will often be given the direct contact details of a team member to assist you with your policy and claims one-on-one.

We acknowledge the competition, and welcome it in fact. It helps us bring about more awareness of the need to protect your pet health, and it assists us all to continuously strive to move ahead, change, adapt, and keep offering the best care. This healthy competition, however, needs to be regulated and constantly monitored to ensure dirty tactics are kept at bay, protecting you and your pets from being taken advantage of, in what is often, your greatest hour of need.

 

 

 

 

Kleinmond Animal Clinic and Team Social

A2 Poster for Clinic-page-001

Medipet was invited to attend the recent “Meet Your Team” Kleinmond Animal Clinic Cocktail Party, held at the Diesel & Jam restaurant.  The informal social get together was an opportunity for clients, new and long standing, to meet the team to whom they entrust the wellbeing of their pets.

A6Despite an enormous fire raging in the Western Cape’s Helderberg region, the turnout for the cocktail party was amazing, with staff, clients and guests having the opportunity to meet one another, to put faces to names, and to have their questions answered.

For Medipet this was a pivotal opportunity to raise awareness for the importance of pet insurance – or as many refer to it – pet medical aid.

This in itself is a misnomer – according to South African legislation, you cannot take out medicalA5 aid for your pets because they are seen as your ‘property’ as opposed to an entity in their own right.  You can however insure your property, so pet insurance is growing proportionately to the increase in veterinary costs annually.

There is also a growing trend that sees us treating our pets more as members of our family, than as merely guard dogs, protectors or early warning alarm systems.  Because of this, our domesticated friends are treated medically for more conditions than they were in the past, the quality of pet food has improved dramatically, as have their living conditions, and the emotional attachment they have with their human companions has strengthened.

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Pet insurance has become a vital part of keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.  Like all insurance, we refer to it as a “grudge payment” but welcome the security of it when Fido falls and tears a cruciate ligament, or Fluffy develops Feline HIV.

For more information on Medipet’s policy options and prices, you can visit the website https://www.medipetsa.co.za, Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/MedipetSA/ or follow on Twitter and Instagram https://twitter.com/MediPetSA and https://www.instagram.com/medipetsa/

You can also pop into Kleinmond Animal Clinic and visit the dynamic team of vets and front staff who help keep your best friend in tip top condition.  And keep an eye on their Facebook page too for further events. https://www.facebook.com/Kleinmond-Animal-Clinic-185016458211640/

Bark for Bingo

On Friday night Medipet joined Aid4Aid (Aid 4 Animals in Distress) at their Bark 4 Bingo evening at the Tokai Earth Fair Food Market.

Bark for Bingo Ad

This wonderful and dynamic group of people work tirelessly to rescue and re-home animals in distress.  Working predominantly in the disadvantaged communities they bring hope to pets and owners who would otherwise not be able to afford to their furry companions the basic necessities of food, general good health, and adequate shelter.  They do all this without their own premises, without subsidy, and without complaint.  Relying solely on donations and goodwill, they somehow still manage to maintain a great adoption record, re-homing on average,  upward of 12 cats and dogs each month.

Bark 4 Bingo 5 (2)

Friday night’s event saw an almost full house of animal lovers coming out to support this charity, win amazing prizes, and have a good laugh and a couple of games of Bingo in the bargain.

Bark 4 Bingo 3

 

A R100 ticket gets you a couple of bingo cards and dinner.  Dinner comes in the form of a whopping cheese or veggie burger, complete with salads.  The bar is open serving wine, craft beers and cider on tap, and there is a cooldrink bar available for those who prefer the non-alcoholic option.  Desserts are also on sale, and the chocolate brownies are not to be missed.  A fun evening out for the whole family, there is also a designated play area where your little ones can be entertained with sand art.Bark 4 Bingo 2 (2)

If you’d like to join in one of these fun evenings, then keep an eye open on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/aid4animalsindistress/ for details of their next event, and come down to support this great cause.  We guarantee you’ll have a doggone fine time, and all at great value for money.

Bark 4 Bingo 6 (2)

See you there!

#FleasMustFall

Coming this Summer – to a Vet Near You…

This Summer head on down to South City Vet Clinic and enter the #FleasMustFall Competition.   FleasMiustFall Campaign

Simply by purchasing a can of Ultrum Duration, you will be entered into the competition, and could win a 1 year Option 2 Medipet Veterinary Insurance Policy.

South City 2

 

 

 

Medipet offers veterinary insurance for cats and dogs, giving you the peace of mind of knowing that your furry friend is looked after for life and you will never be placed in the situation of having to make difficult decisions.  We offer cover for pets from the age of 8 weeks, and our policy offers a number of extra benefits, including:

  • Complementary Treatment
  • Suppliments Benefit
  • Behaviour Cover
  • Advertising & Reward Benefit
  • Condolence Contribution
  • Boarding & Kenneling
  •  Dental Cover

Dog & Cat Snipped LogoTo find out more visit our website www.medipetsa.co.za or give us a call and chat to one of our friendly, compassionate, animal-loving staff.

To find out more about South City Vet, visit their Facebook page South City Veterinary Clinic | Facebook  or call them on 041 581 3203

And don’t forget to pop down and pick up a can of Ultrum Duration – or 2. After all, Tis the Season in the Windy City

Terms and Conditions apply.

Istanbul’s Forgotten Population

One of our staff members recently returned from a 3 week holiday road tripping through Turkey with her daughter.  Among the many interesting things that they experienced, one of the sadder aspects were their encounters with the population of Turkey’s stray cats and dogs.

Here is her story.

Snoozing in the doorway of Starbucks

Snoozing in the doorway of Starbucks

Although most of the tourist attractions in Turkey are teeming with stray cats, and very often dogs (and goats and donkeys and chickens), nowhere is the plight of these animals more heartbreaking, than in Istanbul.  A Starbucks and a mosque on just about every street corner was our expectation.  What wasn’t was the number of stray dogs and cats.

Donkey and Rooster at Kayakoy, the ghost village just outside Fethiye

Donkey and Rooster at Kayakoy, the ghost village just outside Fethiye

 

Growing up in a city (indeed in a country) where the animals we mostly encounter are our pets, and where they share the family home, it is a natural instinct for many of us to want to rescue every stray we see, take them home, feed them, groom them, give them a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in, and shower them with love.  It is a fact that the closest many of us come to street animals, are the township dogs we drive past, who are, very likely, quite well looked after.

We met Max hanging out at the Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts

We met Max hanging out at the Museum of Turkish & Islamic Arts

It is therefore an alien concept to imagine cats and dogs, in the heart of a city, without a home. Or, to be more accurate, whose home is the street they spend their day on, lying in the shade of a doorway.  Who’s bed might be a piece of cardboard in that same doorway, and who’s water comes from the constant dripping of a leaky tap.

Capture.JPG3This happens every day in our own communities; to people.  They are there and they live this way because they have nothing else.  We are aware of it, but we turn our heads and hurry past.  We take more notice when it is an animal, perhaps because they don’t have a voice.

Our first day in Istanbul we encountered a German Shepherd, lounging outside a stained glass lamp store.  People entering and leaving would step right over the dog as if it wasn’t there.  The only person to pay any attention to it was the store owner, who eventually came out to chase it away.

Our first turkish coffee came with a free cat Strays in the 2nd courtyard at Topkapi Palace

Our first turkish coffee came with a free cat                                               Strays in the 2nd courtyard at Topkapi Palace

Over the next few days, we encountered more and more of these dogs (and cats).  Taking the Metro bus between cities became an exercise in counting as the number of dogs we saw sadly climbed higher and higher.  They would run through fields, stroll along the side of the road, or hang out at gas stations (especially the ones with a restaurant attached).  One day, after 6 hours on a bus, we stopped for a bathroom break and bought a couple of burgers at a roadside cafe. They were horrible.  As a South African I always thought that even a bad burger was better than no burger, but in Turkey, these were really, really bad.  Instead of tossing them in the bin, we thought we’d give them to the strays hanging around the station.  Thanks, but no, the dogs wouldn’t eat the burgers either.  That was either testament to the fact that the burgers were really awful, or that the dogs were not starving, and a bit more discerning.  We began to pay closer attention, and that’s when we realised:

  1. These dogs were not mongrels (pavement specials as we call them here).
  2. They were in pretty good condition (their coats were shiny and clean, not matted).  And
  3. They were not scrawny, but rather, they looked well fed.
Juno lives at the market place in Fethiye Little puppy at Kem, the jewellery studio. A zen moment with a retriever at Kapadokya Coffee

Juno lives at the market           Little puppy we met at Kem, the jewellery studio.                     A zen moment with a   place in Fethiye                                                                                                                           retriever at Kapadokya Coffee

They were also not vicious when it came to food, they would accept tidbits daintily, and they would not fight each other for scraps.   All this indicated that these poor strays were not in the dire straits that we’d at first assumed.

A little bit of research, and visiting a couple of veterinary practices in the various cities and towns we traveled through revealed some interesting facts and stories.

Istanbul has a population of about 15 million humans.  The population of strays (dogs and cats) currently sits at around 150 000.  It is extremely difficult to measure this figure with any degree of accuracy, but that number is fairly close.  Homeless these animals might be, but they also have 15 million owners!  Beloved by the population who endeavor to look after them, these street dogs and cats subsist on rations left out by shopkeepers and store owners. In doorways you will find buckets of water and kibble, and in the evenings you can see dogs gather outside Did you know 3fresh produce stores, where they are fed with goods that cannot be sold the following day. When the sun sets you will see cardboard boxes, pillows, scraps of blanket appear in these same doorways.  Restaurants become a hive of activity as the 4 legged population start to gather.  Clearly food is in abundance and they know it.

This is how it has been for centuries.

In 1910, in a desire to “westernise” (and beautify) the city, the then sultan of the Ottoman Empire passed a draft law that would send all the stray dogs to live on barren Sivriada, one of Did you know 2the Prince Islands in the Sea of Marmara.  Tens of thousands of dogs were rounded up, carted off and dumped.  The island had no food, or water, so the dogs were left to starve to death, or to eat each other.  According to folklore the dogs could be heard at night howling in agony.  Many dogs tried to swim back to Istanbul.  Many didn’t make it.  A large fire in 1911 and a 7.3 magnitude earthquake  in 1912 were seen as punishment by God for these actions.  The exile of strays to Sivriada was stopped and the remaining dogs on the island were returned to Istanbul.

In 2012, Turks found history repeating itself when the Turkish government proposed a law that would see the city animals picked up by animal control and herded off to forests on the outskirts of north eastern Istanbul.  Although activists protested, and thousands marched through cities, and the draft law was tabled, many dogs were still sent away.  Today they remain in these wooded areas, where volunteer groups go in 3 times per week to feed them.  Because this is done on a volunteer basis, they rely heavily on donations of food from pet stores, grocery stores and schools, but the costs still amount to around 800 euros per week to feed the dogs.  Although it is the responsibility of the municipality to ensure the dog’s well-being, their only contribution so far, is towards petrol for the volunteers.

Kitty love in the Ilhara Valley in Capadoccia and at Ephesus and St John's Basilica in Selcuk

Kitty love in the Ilhara Valley in Capadoccia and at Ephesus and St John’s Basilica in Selcuk

The government remains perplexed at the attitude of the citizenry, who insist that these “legitimate denizens”  of the city have as much right as anyone to be there.  Their ambition is to “globalize” Istanbul on the scale of New York, or Tokyo.  Turkey is enjoying its wealth after a period of economic growth that has seen per capita income trebled, and spurts of urban renewal.  Everywhere in Turkey can you see the construction of roads, luxury high rise apartment buildings, shopping malls, and the beautification of formerly ramshackle neighborhoods.  There is no room in this vision for the strays who are seen as an embarrassment to the “Europeanizing” process.

Affection from 2 cuties at the Troia ruins in Canakkale

Affection from 2 cuties at the Troia ruins in Canakkale

But the citizens of vibrant Istanbul insist on the strays having a place in the city.  This in itself is an enigma, as Istanbul’s human population is 98% Muslim, and the Islamic religion considers dogs “unclean”.  Yet these well groomed and (mostly) well behaved dogs, not only roam the streets, but are looked after by the Istanbullus.  In fact, not once during our 3 weeks in this magnificent country, did we encounter a single dog or cat dropping, testament to the fact that the citizenry not only look after them, but clean up after them too.  They claim that these social animals are so intelligent, that they have learned to read the traffic lights at pedestrian crossings, stopping at red lights and crossing at green.

In the tiny town of Goreme in the Kapadokya region, we met an hotel owner, Ali  with a little stray named Princess.  He told us his story.

“I used to see this little dog by the hotel and give her food because I felt sorry for her.  One day she wasn’t there.  I went to look for her and she had just birthed 2 puppies.  I took them home with the mother dog, but she didn’t want to stay and she disappeared again.  I didn’t see her for a long time.  I went out one night and I got drunk.  When I left the bar I was attacked by two stray dogs and I couldn’t defend myself.  Then this little dog came and she chased away the 2 dogs that were attacking me.  I think she was protecting me because I protected her babies.  That’s when i started to love her”.

Today, Princess lives at the hotel with Ali, who still has her two puppies.

Max, adopted by the Venus Suites Hotel in Pamukkale

Max, adopted by the Venus Suites Hotel in Pamukkale

In Pamukkale we met Max, a boxer who had become the Mascot of the hotel we stayed in.  The hotel was very upmarket, so it was a surprise to see Max dozing on the fancy sofa’s in the lobby, or on a chaise outside by the pool.  If Max decides he wants to spend the night in your hotel room, then he saunters in and makes himself comfortable, either on your bed or a sofa.

Tiger, a resident cat decided to move into our apartment in Fethiye.  He slept on the sofa bed and insisted on a slice of anchovy toast for breakfast.

Tiger (named because of the stripes), our lovable roomie in Fethiye

Tiger (named because of the stripes), our lovable roomie in our Fethiye apartment

The Istanbullus, in fact the whole of Turkey, have their own reasons for allowing these animals to remain.  Whatever those reasons are, it just seems to work.  The Turkish Government now have a plan in place, where strays are picked up, taken to veterinarians where they are vaccinated, sterilised, (treated if they are injured), tagged & registered, and then released back on to the streets.  In this way authorities hope to control their numbers and keep track of the existing dogs.

To read more about Turkey’s stray population, you can visit the following sites: Managing Street Dogs and Cats in Turkey ; The Behavior of Turkish Street Dogs ; Istanbul residents rally around their beloved stray dogs ; The Street Dogs of Istanbul ; The Wild Dogs of IstanbulTurkey dogs – Adopt a Golden Atlanta ; Istanbul′s forgotten dogs struggle for survival

 

 

 

See You @Frits

Psst!  Can we tell you a secret?

Do you know about atFrits Dog Hotel and Daycare Centre?  It’s the trendiest, happening hotspot in Cape Town right now!  A 5* boutique hotel just for dogs, @Frits is your one-stop, fully exclusive, “all things canine” tail-wagging venue, and it’s right in the heart of the city.  Isn’t that paw-some?

Hotel

And they’re holding their grand opening in just 1 week.  Fur-bulous, isn’t it?

So what’s so special about @Frits?  Well first, they cater to every need and every whim.  With a luxury spa on site you can relax in a bubble bath, enjoy a massage, primp, preen, detangle, or just take advantage of the mani’s and pedi’s available.

Salon

Second, the gym and sports line up will keep you on top of your game so you can wow the ladies.

Dorm RoomAccommodation is available in various packages, so even if you’re just backpacking through the city, @Frits has room for you in the dormitory.  For the more discerning, there are Platinum and Deluxe rooms on offer, where your every wish can be Extra Muralcatered for. They offer day care, frail care and elderly care as add ons.  For those who love a bit of a night on the town, you can even drop off the little ones, because @Frits offers an exclusive baby puppy sitting service, or night care.

 

A la Carte Menu

“And how about room service?” you ask.  Well @Frits caters to all tastes, with aTreats selection of culinary delights, so have a peek at the a la carte menu.  And for those who can’t keep their paws off the snack platter, there is a host of tasty treats to choose from.

There is an on-site fully qualified doctor who will look after all your snuffles and sneezes, annual vaccinations and keep you in tip top shape.

You want to meet the team?

Frits

 

Frits himself is CEO.  He’s the brains behind the operation, and the “face” of @Frits

Maya

 

Maya, the ultra glam Spa & Salon manager will make sure you’re
pampered from whiskers to tail

 

Emma

 

Emma and Chloe run the boutique shop.  Any Chloeaccessories, outfits or
gear you need, these talented ladies will whip it up in less time than it takes you to say woof.

 

 

Tessa

 

Tessa heads up Sport & Recreation, and is your tour guide through the city.  She knows the best spots and all those hidden little gems that Cape Town is famous for.

 

 

Elvis is Concierge and your “go-to” guy.  So don’t Elvisget “All shook up”,  whatever you need, Elvis is your “hound dog” and you just “Can’t help falling in Love” with him.

 

 

Frank

 

Frank, the bell hop is super smart in his uniform, and will gladly carry all your luggage. In return for a treat of course.

 

 

Clara’s personality makes her the perfect Clara Head of Social.  She’ll see to all your entertainment needs.

 

 

Roelf

 

Roelf is Elvis’ brother, and supervisor @Frits.  He makes sure everything runs smoothly.

 

Jack

 

Jack is the driver, and he’s a whiz behind the wheel.
Don’t worry, he’s fully licensed so you’re in safe hands, er, paws.

 

 

So, whether you’re a cool cat, hot dog, or just plain tired, overworked executive, this is the place to be, and to be seen.  Come on down to @Frits and have a ball.

Grand opening is on 01 December and the glitzy Launch Party is on the 3rd.  If you want to find out more, visit @Frits website on www.atfritsdoghotel.com or you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Forget about Orange.   logo1  is the new Black.