Cats roaming on base

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Question: I have been at billeting for an extended period of time. I have two concerns:

The first are the cats that roam so freely on this base. I asked the front desk if they could put some type of protective covering over the linen cart at night after discovering one of the cats sleeping there. I pointed out that the cart located in the building across from me had a nice heavy gray covering. An attempt was made to place towels and the container with cleaning supplies over the laundry but there was no consistency in that. Again this morning the cat was asleep in the linen once more. I wouldn't think a tarp covering would be too expensive to purchase to keep the animals out.

My second concern is the animal leash rule -- or is there one? I was walking to my building from when I saw two very large black dogs with adult individuals walking toward the street. Neither dog was on a leash. I was unable to move until I was sure the dogs were a safe distance from me to continue to my building. This morning I used the same shortcut and a little boy was out with one of the dogs. I asked him if he could take the dog insides so I could pass and he told me the dog was using the bathroom. I waited but the dog decided he needed to go again. I asked where his parents were and he told me they were inside. I asked if he would take the dog in so I could pass but no response. I have no problem with people and their pets but I think owners need to understand that just because you think your dog wont chase or bite means very little to a person who has been attacked by a dog. There is a reason for leash rules and I don't understand why they are ignored. Sometimes I feel the animals have more rights than I do.

Answer: Thank you for a fresh set of eyes on a problem that annoys everyone. The stray animal population at Incirlik has certainly been a concern over the past year and is being worked. Let us tackle your concerns one at a time.

First, Housekeeping routinely covers carts for a variety of reasons, to keep out wildlife, to protect items and to discourage theft. Lodging has ordered new protective covers for those carts without them and they should be arriving shortly. If you see a problem report it to billeting management immediately at 676-9366.

Secondly, the 39th Civil Engineer Squaron has a stray animal capture and relocation plan which traps stray animals, contacts the owners if they are registered, and then relocates the strays to an off-base location. To report strays on base, call CES service call desk at 676-7008 24-hours/7 days a week. Reporting strays helps them determine the best locations to set the traps.


Finally, you have a valid concern with the pet owners's lack of courtesy. There are rules that apply to pets found in section I of the Family Housing Brochure, Incirlik Air Base Pamphlet 90-2. The brochure states that personnel who own pets must ensure complete control of their pets. Pets must be on a leash, in a confined area or have physical contact with the owner. In addition it states pet owners must ensure sanitary cleanliness of their pets.

This action line should help to re-emphasis these rules to pet owners. We ask all pet owners to not allow your pet to become a neighborhood nuisance because of excessive barking and/or invading privacy of others. Violations can be reported to the Security Forces at 676-3200. The pet owner will be charged a retrieval fee should their pet be picked up by Security Forces. Pets that are deemed a nuisance or that cause personal injury or property damage will be removed from the owner's control.