Locals in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Konya on Nov. 9 found the bodies of several dogs that were shot by a rifle.
The bodies were buried at an empty land near a horse farm in the Meram district.
In the face of the horrifying scene, Dilek Genç broke into tears, saying they do not so far know how many dogs have been shot.
“We will follow up on this; we will file a criminal case against all of them. You will an account for this. I had been looking after these animals for years now,” Genç said.
Another animal lover named Hayrettin Bulan said that although such incidents occur very frequently, authorities are failing to take deterrent measures.
“They keep shooting the animals, but nothing is being done. I hereby call on the head of Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, prosecutors; do not be an accomplice to this crime. Just recently, the Sarayönü Municipality buried the dogs alive, and you have not done anything,” Bulan said.
Bulan was referring to an Oct. 25-dated footage which showed teams of Konya's Sarayönü Municipality, run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), burying sedated stray dogs alive.
Ümit Sürmeli, the chairman of Society for the Protection of Animals and Nature in Konya, claimed that the last incident was undertaken by horse riders at the nearby horse farm. Sürmeli said that although they have so far found the bodies of two dogs, they fear that this number will increase as they have been able to spot only 30 alive dogs in the area out of around 200.
“There were around 200 dogs in this area, but we have been able to reach to only 30. We are concerned that the number of killed animals will increase. We are currently continuing to search for the animals in the area, together with municipality teams,” Sürmeli said, calling on the Konya Governor's Office and Konya Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to find the killers and prosecute them.
In July, the Turkish parliament finally amended the Code of Animal Protection. Although the amendment was long awaited by the pro-animal rights community, it turned out to be a disappointment for animal activists.
The new law defines animal beings as "living beings" and makes animal abuse a crime punishable between six months and four years in prison. However, activists point out that the law's scope is insufficient as sentences less than two years are usually deferred, meaning perpetrators might still avoid jail time despite horrendous acts.