According to abandoned-golden-retrievers-flown-from-turkey-to-u-s/">Tuesday's Washington Post, 36 abandoned Golden Retrievers found sanctuary in the United States after being rescued from certain death in Istanbul, Turkey. They were flown to safety by Atlanta">Adopt A Golden Atlanta (AGA), a rescue organization based in the Atlanta, Georgia, area.
It was a 12-hour flight from Turkey into the Hartsfield-Jackson airport on Saturday for the purebred dogs, making this the largest single international Golden Retriever rescue ever. Like many purebred dogs that find themselves in overseas shelters, or abandoned on the streets, U.S. rescues are stepping up to find them homes. These rescues have the resources, and the desire, to find loving homes for the animals they save.
When questioned why any rescue would help a dog from another country, when there are so many thousands of dogs killed each month in local shelters in this country, as reported in previous articles, any true rescue will say that a life is a life. Its country of origin makes no difference. It is the same basic idea of rescues from one state who take in animals from another state. They know they can help, and are determined to do so. Usually they are breed-specific rescues, but they may also be rescues that assist elderly animals, small breeds, large breeds, or animals with special needs, such as those who are blind, deaf or abused.
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.
Knowing that a fate like this could befall any dog, it's no wonder that so many breed specific rescues are stepping up and helping canines from other countries. Each of these Turkish Goldens have also been abandoned by their owners.
AGA was contacted by an American living in Istanbul, on behalf of the Turkish shelter, begging them for help for the 36 dogs. Genkinger flew them into Atlanta and brought them to the Pet Lodge Pet Resort in Alpharetta, Georgia. Once they've adjusted to their new environment, been evaluated and vetted, they will be put up for adoption. Along with their medical needs, such as ear and skin infections, they'll also have to learn new commands, in English!
These wriggly canines who crave human attention and touch range from six months to ten-years old. They've already been given names by the rescue, such as Freedom, Patriot, Liberty and Glory. There are 20 boys and 16 girls. Life on the street has been very hard on them, as it is on any homeless animal, and some will take longer than others to be ready for new homes. They may have to spend some extra time in the care of their foster families.
Today AGA posted this on their special webpage for the Turkey dogs:
"Well, the day has come where we must close applications for our wonderful Turkey dogs. We have gotten over 200 applications and are sure to find 36 wonderful families from this group! If you have already applied, please be patient with us. If you have not, please check back in a month and consider adopting one of our other wonderful orphans!"
Anyone interested learning more about Adopt a Golden Atlanta, should check out their webpage, where, very shortly, they'll be posting pictures of all their new canine American citizens.
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