As the snowfall hit Istanbul a week ago, animal lovers went out of the way to help and protect stray dogs. Some of them allowed the dogs and cats to take shelter in their shop floors and other locals have put out cardboard and food for them.

See how the dogs and cats look happy with their newfound places and feel safe and protected.
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The worst snowstorms since 2009 recently hit Istanbul, with almost 65cm of snow falling in parts of the city overnight, and hundreds of flights cancelled. Despite the treacherous weather, animal lovers are doing all the good they can to help keep the stray animals of the city safe and warm from the freezing temperatures.

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Local business owners have been opening their doors for stray animals. One such individual is Selçuk Bayal, who has opened his small store into a temporary shelter for stray cats.

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“We are human, and these creatures are entrusted to us by God,” Bayal told The Dodo. “We are responsible for looking after them.”

Despite gaining praise from Istanbul’s animal loving community, he has also been criticised by customers, to whom he responded by placing a sign in the shop window stating: “Those who are bothered by cats, do not shop here!”

Bayal believes the cats are “grateful” to him for giving them a place to sleep, and his shop is a place for any animal or person in need.

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Groups of strangers have also been laying down pieces of cardboard inside a local mall for stray dogs and pups, and covering them with blankets to keep them warm. Piles of food were placed by each of the dogs to ensure they don’t go hungry.

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And we think that with stories like these, that 2017 might well be a happy year!

Credits: BoredPanda