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.” GRRAND is one of 19 Golden Retriever Rescues across the U.S. that participated in this effort.
Before leaving Turkey on non-stop flights, 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.
Sadly, there are many thousands of 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. Hundreds of these abandoned dogs are Golden Retrievers.
Golden Retrievers in Istanbul were once considered status symbols. When their numbers increased, and popularity waned, 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 January 2015, GRRAND’s board of directors researched this effort and consulted with other rescue organizations active in this endeavor. The board voted unanimously to join the rescue coalition. Since that time GRRAND has rescued 19 Turkey Goldens and all but one have been adopted. We are grateful for the many donations submitted for this program by our faithful supporters. The rescue costs, including airfare, overnight boarding, and vet fees amounted to over $2,000 per dog. We are proud to have been an active sponsor for the Turkey Dog Rescue!