The temperatures in Istanbul, Turkey tend to heavily fluctuate and the region currently suffers from a remarkably harsh winter. During a recent snowstorm, people from the Atrium Mall in the Bakirkoy neighborhood decided to open their doors so that stray street dogs could come inside and have a warm place to sleep.
Ali Çelik suddenly spotted the group of stray dogs residing at the mall. He was simply on his way to work, but stopped to check on the dogs that were sitting there.
Three shoppers were with the dogs, as they provided the pups with cardboard to sleep on and some blankets against the harsh cold.
They even made sure that the dogs had some food to eat.
“It was fabulous,” the man said to The Dodo, not wanting to reveal the names of the people who were helping. “The people were there to help the animals, not so that others could see them helping.”
“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,” one of the volunteers told a reporter from CNN Turk.
He posted a photo online, which spread quickly across Turkey and the internet.
“There was a big snow storm in Istanbul. This photo was taken today at Atrium mall Bakirkoy / Istanbul. Saw that one lady was feeding them. I said let me take your picture with the dogs. ‘No need. Take only them.’ She is my hero. This photo went viral in Turkey. I just wanted share with you guys,” one of the descriptions online read.
Luckily, this amazing act of kindness wasn’t limited to the Atrium Mall.
A bunch of smaller stores and cafes welcomed the stray animals as well and it’s absolutely heartwarming.
For example, the women’s clothing shop Penti also opened up its doors for cold animals, even while customers were still inside. A photograph of three dogs sitting at the entrance with other shoppers was shared online and also went viral.
“Don’t forget that only true love warms,” the manager of the clothing store wrote on his Facebook page.
Selçuk Bayal owns a small café in Istanbul and welcomed twelve stray cats inside so that they would be safe and comfortable.
Selçuk did mention that this act of kindness could scare off potential customers, but the most important thing was that these animals needed a place to stay. Another heartwarming deed by a Good Samaritan.
We can only hope that more people think about stray animals on the streets, especially during cold times such as these. Respect!