KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Adopt a Golden Knoxville has taken in six rescued golden retrievers from Istanbul, Turkey.
The rescue said pure breed golden retrievers used to be a status symbol in Turkey, but the novelty wore off and now between 800 and 1,000 dogs are living in overcrowded shelters, forests, and the streets. Their sister rescue, Adopt a Golden.
Atlanta, spearheaded a mission in May 2015 to bring some of the golden retrievers to the United States.
“Five years ago the golden retriever became a novelty dog in Turkey. Kind of like the Chihuahua here in the U.S. After a while people didn’t want to take care of them. So they dumped the dogs in parks throughout Istanbul,” explained Jessica Popek, a volunteer with Adopt a Golden Knoxville.
The dogs have been named Dickens, Cedar, Ivy, Joy, Hope and Boots. The names reflect their arrival during the holiday season. All morning on Monday, volunteers were hard at work getting the dogs bathed and vaccinated before they were sent off to their foster homes.
The retrievers will eventually be adopted.
“The thing that’s so different is they were somebody’s dog, somebody pet. So when they were released out in the wild, they had to fend for themselves. They had to beg, go through the trash for food, things of that nature,” Popek said, about how what the dogs need most is love and connection.
Adopt a Golden said those that would like to help can sponsor dogs for $1,000, which covers travel from Istanbul to Knoxville, vet expenses for their routine exam upon arrival, treatment of any health problems and any training expenses.
“From all of us at Adopt a Golden Knoxville, we thank you for your continued support,” said the volunteer team that has helped with the Turkey dog mission in Knoxville.