Shop owners provide warm sanctuaries for strays during worst Istanbul snowstorm in 7 years

With most of Europe frozen over due to the worst snowstorms in recent years, many stray animals were at risk of being left out in the freezing cold.

However, shop owners in Istanbul opened their doors to the cats and dogs on the streets to provide them protection from the harsh weather outside.

One of these shop owners, Sel├žuk Bayal, welcomed nearly a dozen stray cats into his small stationery shop and cafe, according to The Dodo.

When some customers complained about the presence of the cats, Bayal put up a sign in his store window saying: "Those who are bothered by cats, do not shop here!"

Other animal lovers also provided cardboard pieces, blankets and food in a local mall for the stray animals.

Boredpanda compiled a series of heartwarming images of the stray animals being cared for. Check them out in the gallery above.