When asked about this group of 36, Lauren Genkinger, the President of Adopt A Golden Atlanta, said, "They have never been in a home, they have never had a toy, they have had to beg for food in the streets of Istanbul." Goldens are gentle dogs and do not do well living on the streets. "They don't make it because the feral dogs will attack them and they don't fight back." There are reportedly about 50,000 dogs living on the streets in Turkey.
Overseas, the ownership of a purebred dog can be a status symbol. About a decade ago, owning a Golden Retriever was seen as a status symbol in Turkey. In China, Tibetan Mastiffs have been sold for a reported $2 million. In an article from 2014, a buyer said, "It's solid evidence of your wealth, power and taste, and makes a most presentable gift for your clients and partners."
Just one year later, in 2015, Mastiffs have fallen out of favor in China. Now these same dogs are being stuffed into metal chicken crates and packed onto trucks, usually with upwards of 150 other dogs. If a recent group of these unfortunate souls had not been rescued by animal rights activists in that country, they would have been sold to a Chinese slaughterhouse for $5 each, and then, they would have been rendered into hot pot ingredients, imitation leather and the lining for winter gloves.