Jonah / Karam is dead

Monday, 1 December 2008



was a 2-year old stray dog born in the city of Van in Turkey, a country also known as a hell on earth for stray animals. Like his fellow stray animals, Jonah’s life was nothing but absolute horror, torture and despair…. Jonah experienced 730 days, 17520 hours of incessant misery. On a lucky day, he could find some rotten, dirty food from the garbage. Even that was a luxury to him, because most other days his stomach was completely empty. Clean drinking water was out of the question anyway (maybe some rain was his only chance of water). But even those “rotten food available” days were scarce for Jonah. He was on the brink of starvation for most of those 17520 hours he managed to survive in a country where dogs get treated as cockroaches to be destroyed.

Just as you would think that life could not get worse for Jonah, it did. On 10 November 2008, Jonah was hit by a car on the highway, and then of course the driver fled the scene. Jonah was left to lie in agony by the side of the road, with his two back legs broken, with his suffering just simply beyond description. With those two back legs broken, Jonah was now only able to crawl and he somehow caught the attention of someone in Van with a heart… A good man who saw Jonah’s misery and called the municipality of Van for help.

But no officer at the municipality of Van helped – Jonah kept crawling in the middle of Van for three days. The municipality could not be bothered to send a vet or anybody to go help him.

On 13 November 2008, the municipality finally bothered to do something. And what they decided to do was to send in a death squad on Jonah. They sent two garbage collectors and a garbage truck to pick Jonah up. And this is how they picked him up:,0aab7

They tied a rope around his neck, picked him up with a shovel, and then tossed him into the garbage truck. Jonah screamed and screamed throughout all of this – everybody else enjoyed it. As Jonah was screaming to the top of his lungs, the people around him simply laughed and watched Jonah’s agony as if they were watching a comedy show. The garbage men then dumped him at the city’s garbage disposal site “out of compassion” the official explanation goes. The garbage men were so compassionate that they thought at least he would have found some food there, the municipality later on explained.

At this stage, Jonah was lying paralyzed in the garbage site, and the way he was handled with a shovel had only made it worse. He suffered irreparable damage to his spine, and even if he had lived, he would have been paralyzed for life.

All hell broke loose on the municipality of Van when footage of Jonah’s torture in the hands of municipal workers was announced on the national media in Turkey. The municipality was inundated with phone calls, not just from Turkey, but
from around the world. Under such tremendous pressure, the person who calls himself the mayor of Van was forced to act and sent in a team to go collect Jonah from the garbage site. Jonah thus ended up at the Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine Animal Hospital at the University of Van.

If you can call it that of course – the hospital in Van had very very little to do to treat Jonah because they did not have the facilities there at their disposal to handle a dog as severely damaged as Jonah. This was when once again animal lovers from all over the world offered help. Some offered to send money for Jonah’s treatment, others offered to adopt him, yet others offered to arrange for him to be treated at the best animal hospitals in the United Kingdom and / or the United States….

But it was not meant to be…. Because all of those offers had to be rejected as those offers of help from abroad were “an insult to Turkey’s national pride”. Turkey had its own resources to treat Jonah, they said, and those trying to arrange help for Jonah from abroad were “traitors”. The mayor of Van agreed with all of this, he declared that the dog was going to stay in Van. Period. Jonah was condemned to stay there in Van in the hands of vets who had little if anything to do for Jonah’s welfare…

Jonah’s conditions deteriorated on the morning of 28 November 2008. And he didn’t make it, he died on 1 December 2008. Jonah became a victim of ultra nationalists masquerading as animal lovers and monsters masquerading as humans. His dead body is at the pathology lab of the animal hospital in Van at the moment. They are trying to write a report on his cause of death. Don’t bother, here it is. Jonah’s cause of death is Turkey - a hell for stray animals.

If you too think that the mayor of Van should resign following this scandal, please tell it to himself, Mr. Burhan Yenigun:

(name surname in the first box, your message in the final box, the rest of the boxes can be left blank).


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