It’s a hard life for stray dogs living on the street, especially when the weather turns nasty. After a photo of some homeless dogs went viral in Istanbul, Turkey, one mall decided to open its doors to homeless dogs.

Homeless Dogs

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Currently, there are over 70 million stray and homeless dogs in the United States alone. Imagine how many stray dogs there are all over the world. It’s a difficult life being a stray, especially when the weather turns for the worst.

Crisis

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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are over 200 million homeless dogs worldwide. About 15 million of these dogs will die from contracting deadly diseases each year. It truly is a crisis.

Turkish Winters

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While Istanbul doesn’t experience the coldest or harshest winters out there, temperatures can drop well below freezing. Snow also isn’t uncommon during the winter.

Snow

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Snow in Istanbul only happens on rare occasions, but when it does come down, the people are well prepared for it. The same can’t be said for the stray dogs in the city, though.

Freezing Temperatures

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Recently, Istanbul has been experiencing a much harsher winter with temperatures dropping below 5 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures have already caused three deaths of migrants near the Turkish-Bulgarian border. Just imagine what the stray dogs are experiencing.

Donating Blankets

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People understood that these homeless dogs had a difficult time withstanding the cold. So, people of Istanbul decided to gather blankets and cover the dogs to keep them warm during the winter.

In Search of Shelter

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These animal-lovers’ next mission was to find a place for the dogs to sleep and keep out of the cold. They looked everywhere, but there was no place to put the pups. Then someone came up with a brilliant idea.

Shopping Mall

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Someone suggested to use the city’s shopping mall as a sanctuary for the dogs.

Warmth

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Luckily, the entrance was closed off enough for the dogs to keep warm inside of the shopping mall. The volunteers covered the dogs with blankets and made them feel at home.

Bakirkoy District

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The mall was located in the Bakirkoy district in Istanbul. Once inside, the dogs were extremely grateful for what these kind people did for them.

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On top of providing the dogs with shelter and blankets, the volunteers also brought them food to make sure they were well-fed.

Granted Permission

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The volunteers were so grateful that the mall allowed the dogs to spend the night in the mall’s entrance on a particularly cold night.

Helping Animals

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One volunteer said in an interview with CNN Turks, “All of us, if we can help as much as we can, all the stray animals will be in good shape and the street animals need help all over the world.”

Protecting the Pups

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Thanks to the volunteers’ great ideas and dedication, they were able to protect the dogs from such a harsh winter.

Good Night’s Rest

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The dogs were able to have a good night’s rest thanks to the volunteers that cared for them. They were finally comfortable and appreciated the kindness shown to them.

Helpless

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The saddest part about all of this is that dogs are unable to ask for help. It’s up to us to recognize when a dog is in need and do our best to help them.

An Issue

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While Istanbul is many thousands of miles away from the United States, it still experiences the same issues we do. Hundreds of homeless dogs roam the streets of cities in both the U.S. and Turkey. It’s important to take notice and do something about it.

No Sign of Stopping

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The volunteers kept coming back to the dogs with old towels and blankets to keep them warm. When shoppers realized what was going on, they also decided to help the dogs.

Going Viral

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Pictures of what these volunteers had done for the dogs went viral over the Internet. People were amazed at their kindness towards these dogs.

Happy Dogs

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Finally, these dogs didn’t have to worry about where they would sleep each night thanks to the generosity of these volunteers. These dogs were given another chance at life and were able to survive throughout one of the harshest winters Turkey has experienced.