About Turkey Golden Rescue

turkeydog plane with flag and letters


Turkey Golden Facts

  • Adopt-A-Golden Atlanta (AGA) was the first Golden Retriever Rescue in the U.S. to coordinate the international rescue of Goldens from Istanbul, Turkey. The first plane arrived on May 9, 2015, with 36 “Turkey Dogs.”
  • Since May 2015, 1,000 Turkey Dogs have been rescued.
  • Yasemin Baban, a resident of Turkey, is the key coordinator for the Turkey Golden program and is instrumental in facilitating the international rescues.  She has spent the past 13 years rescuing Goldens from the streets and forests of Istanbul.
  • GRRAND is one of 19 Golden Retriever Rescues across the US that have rescued these dogs brought over from Turkey.

The Turkey Golden Story

Sadly, there are many homeless dogs in Turkey, and not enough room in the shelters for all of them.  Dogs in Turkey either live out their lives in a shelter, or are put back on the streets after they are spayed or neutered.  According to a recent CNN report, estimates of the number of street dogs in Istanbul alone range from 70,000 to 150,000.  Hundreds of these abandoned dogs are Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retrievers in Istanbul were once considered status symbols.  When their numbers increased and popularity waned, however, residents began dumping Goldens when they were no longer puppies.  These Goldens end up roaming the streets and forests of Istanbul.  With few shelters available, Goldens starve or become prey to feral pack dogs.  Unlike typical stray dogs that know how to navigate the streets, find food, and fight for space, this gentle breed simply isn’t equipped to survive.

In 2015, a Golden Retriever rescue group out of Atlanta began to work on a solution to help the plight of abandoned Goldens in Istanbul.  In May 2015, Adopt a Golden Atlanta (AGA) spearheaded the first U.S. rescue effort and arranged for a flight to bring 36 Golden Retrievers living in Istanbul shelters to Atlanta.  Thanks to their incredible efforts, many other Golden rescue groups across the country have joined AGA to save more homeless and abandoned dogs in Istanbul, including rescues in AL, CA, CO, FL, NJ, MN, MO, NY, OK, TN, TX, VA, and Canada.

In January 2015, GRRAND was contacted by Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, the rescue group that coordinates the Midwest effort.  GRRAND board members began to learn more about the situation in Istanbul and assess whether GRRAND could help.  After much research and consultation, the board of directors voted unanimously to join the rescue coalition.

AGA developed an incredible infrastructure and refined the process to bring these dogs to the United States via humane, nonstop flights.  Before leaving Turkey, all the dogs receive medical exams, health certificates and passports.  Upon arrival in the United States, pre-screened rescue groups bring them to their home locations.  The rescue costs, including airfare, overnight boarding, and vet fees typically amount to $2,000 per dog.

To contribute to GRRAND’s Turkey Golden rescue mission, just click on any of the pups below and fly to our donation page!

Turkey dog donate button