Turkey Dogs

posted November 15th, 2015 by
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Turkey Dogs

Turkey Dogs

Turkey DogsTurkey Dogs are coming!  Get ready to welcome our first group of Goldens arriving from Istanbul, Turkey just in time for Thanksgiving!
SGRR has partnered with Gold Ribbon Rescue in Austin to participate in the rescue of eighteen Golden Retrievers from shelters in and around Istanbul, Turkey. These Goldens are set to arrive later this month in Houston, TX and SGRR and GRR-TX volunteers will be there to welcome them to their new homeland. SGRR will bring four of these needy souls back to Oklahoma to start their new lives as spoiled house Goldens.

How Can You Help?

FOSTER a Turkey Dog!
We are looking for four families interested in fostering these Goldens when they arrive in Oklahoma from Houston. If you are interested in becoming a temporary foster home for one of the Turkey Dogs, please email us at [email protected] or call the GoldenLine at 405-749-5700 and leave your contact information. Please consider fostering a Turkey Dog!
DONATE to Support the Turkey Dog Mission!
As you can imagine, the costs associated with rescuing these forgotten Goldens is substantial so your financial support is critical to this and any future Turkey Dog operations. SGRR’s participation in this project will NOT jeopardize our ability to assist any local Goldens in need in our normal service area. Any participation in future Turkey Dog missions will depend on the financial support we receive from our supporters for this effort. You can donate through PayPal at our website: www.sgrr.org; or you can mail your check to: SGRR, PO Box 57139, OKC, OK 73157-7139. All donations are tax deductible.

Why Turkey Dog Rescues?

Istanbul’s struggle with a large population of stray animals dates back more than 100 years. Some people estimate that the number of stray dogs on the city’s streets exceeds 50,000 – not including the dogs that live in the city’s 30-plus animal shelters.

The ownership of purebred dogs has always been seen as a status symbol in the western parts of Istanbul. About 10 years ago, golden retrievers were the most sought after breed. They were becoming very popular in Hungary, Italy and Germany and initially, only those of means could afford to get one. When pet stores in Turkey began importing lots of puppies, more and more people purchased them and, becoming “common,” they lost their standing as a status symbol and were no longer valued.

When owners could no longer take care of the dogs or when they no longer wanted them, these dogs ended up in the forests surrounding the city or on the streets, abandoned and left to fend for themselves. The most common route to life on the street was a call to the local authorities who would pick up the dog and bring it to a shelter (there are 32 in Istanbul). Once at the shelter, volunteers would take the dogs to the vets to spay or neuter the dog, administer a rabies shot, tattoo or tag the ear to show it had received this care, and then let out the door to live on the street. The most unlucky ones are those let go, either by municipality authorities or their owners, in the forests around Istanbul where they usually fall prey to the feral dog packs that roam the areas. A very few lucky ones spend years in the shelters – that is as good as their life will ever get. Over the years, since being abandoned and set loose, the golden retrievers have gotten good at surviving on the streets of Istanbul, however, the life of a stray is not easy and food is not always forthcoming, shelter hard to find, and abuse at human hands is far too common.

There is no hope for these dogs in Istanbul. There is no adoption there. Without help from a rescue, they will live the remainder of their lives roaming the streets and begging to survive. All of these dogs are young – they do not live to see the “senior years.” We estimate that there are approximately 800+ purebred goldens living in the streets/forests/shelters in Istanbul…. A small percentage of the 50,000 which is why you don’t see many on the streets but those 800 are precious to us.

How did SGRR Get Involved?

A concerned American living in Istanbul saw these roaming dogs and contacted Adopt a Golden Atlanta [www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com] asking for help. After an exhaustive four month process, AGA brought the first thirty-six Goldens to American soil earlier this year. Since then, with support from AGA, other Golden rescue groups across the country have partnered to rescue a total of more than 150 Goldens to date.

SGRR heard of this need and our Board decided that we must join this national effort. This mission is supported by the Golden Retriever Club of America – National Rescue Committee. One by one, Golden by Golden, we make a difference.

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