When Mary’s family brought Faith home with distemper, they did so with the expectation that they were just giving her a peaceful and loving place to die. But as sickly as she was, Faith shocked everyone when, in their care, she thrived.
“In the beginning, we took in several from the shelter that were pretty much dying, and we didn’t want them to die in their situation. They were being trampled over, they were filthy,” said Mary, whose family lives in Ankara, Turkey.
“So we took them in, and we didn’t think they’d make it, and the first three did not, and Faith actually was the small one that was in the corner. She couldn’t walk, and she had distemper, and I thought we were just bringing her out to die, basically, in peace, but she proved us wrong.”
Mary and her family are dog lovers, and do what they can to help the 4,000 dogs in the shelter where they volunteer.
“There are these cages – rows and rows and rows of cages – and 20 dogs to a cage,” Mary explained. “In the beginning when we first got here, you know, just tears, but we’d take what we could – six bags of dog food, and you can’t even feed two or three cages with that.”
Shelter dogs in Turkey are rarely euthanized, and the kennels become overcrowded. When a dog gets sick, they easily transmit their diseases to the others. Dead dogs and rats are left to fester alongside live dogs. This is sickening to both the living dogs and their visitors.
One of Mary’s daughters spotted a puppy with distemper that desperately needed some love before she died. She couldn’t really walk, and she didn’t have any teeth.
“She has some emotional issues – she has fear [about] food. She’s just afraid she’s not gonna get a next meal.”
When Mary’s family returns to America, Faith will be coming with them.
“She’s healthy and happy now, very spoiled… she definitely knows she’s loved.”
And she loves to run!
Faith was only the first of many dogs to be saved by this family. They are currently helping keep over 50 street dogs alive.