Meet Istanbul. She was a pagoda cat like many others in Siem Reap. She either got dropped at the pagoda by the owner of her mother or was birthed there by one of the many unneutered females. She shared the destiny of many other strays in Siem Reap: nobody cared. This beautiful blue-eyed lady probably got into a fight or a motor accident and was left terribly hurt on the street.
And now the story begins: Two Turkish girls found her and did what everyone should do immediately. They picked her up and found a local resident to get help. These girls posted an emergency call-out on Facebook and animal lovers all over Cambodia and overseas got involved.
People from all over the world coordinated to find a safe place and proper treatment in Siem Reap. It took about two days, many conversations on Facebook, a donation and, most importantly, the united power of lovely people to help this cat. Eventually she got basic medical treatment, a quiet place to stay, plus daily vet visits prior to surgery.
Unfortunately, and although everyone involved did a really good job, Istanbul died as she was too weak for the surgery she needed. We were all hoping that this would be a story with a happy ending, but resources, infrastructure and information systems in Siem Reap are really limited and that's one of the reasons why Istanbul did not make it (besides this, she was really sick and very weak). We are sure that Istanbul would have had a better chance to survive if there had been a 24-hour emergency service for sick and injured strays.
Please share your thoughts about this on our Facebook page.
This is a story with a very sad beginning and a really happy ending. It starts when we received a Facebook emergency posting from Wat Kork Chork on the 31st of May 2017. The animal-loving community of Siem Reap got on board immediately, but when the vet arrived, it was too late. Mummy died within one day and left eight very tiny puppies and a foster cat (yes, a foster cat). None of them would have survived at all if Siem Reap's activist animal lovers had not connected really quickly and took all necessary steps to save them.
Animal lover Bella Murnane-Victorelli started a fundraiser immediately: www.gofundme.com/pagoda-puppies-cambodia. She collected US$500, which covered the costs of milk, initial medical treatment, and vaccinations.
It is amazing how quickly and effectively Siem Reap's animal lovers organised themselves. The puppies found a foster home at Victoria Baum's place and were to stay with her until they got vaccinated. They grew fast and quickly developed their own little characters and she got them to the vet whenever necessary.
Once vaccinated, the next task was to find new forever homes for them.
You can still follow the puppy discussion on Facebook:
If you want a new friend, you can just write a message in order to visit them at Victoria's place