Istanbul can be a heck of a place for one to find themselves homeless. If you’re also a dog, things could get really tough. However, Hero found his forever home when Chuck and Lisa Taylor were looking for a friend for the golden retriever. Now Hero lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his forever family, and things are looking good.
“Rescue dogs make the world’s greatest companions. I’m convinced that they know,” said Chuck. “There’s something really special about rescuing a dog.”
Hero and 35 of his friends from the streets of Istanbul got a ride over to the U.S. from Adopt a Golden Atlanta. Now the rescue group is hard at work finding forever homes for every dog.
Once the application from the Taylors was accepted by Adopt a Golden, there came the process of getting to meet Hero and for the rescue to make sure that they are giving Hero the best possible forever home for him. It wasn’t the easiest process in the world, but the Taylors knew it’d be worth it.
“Rescuing a dog is a little bit different than going out and buying a purebred dog, there’s no question about that,”said Chuck. “It makes you feel good, it makes your heart feel good. You know that you’re doing something good for the world and the community and for the dog that needed rescuing.”
When they finally met Hero, it was love at first sight. The handler at the rescue had said that Hero hadn’t let anyone go in for a belly rub, but as soon as the Taylors walked in, Hero flopped over on his back, ready for some belly love.
There would be one other thing Hero had to go through before he could go to his new family. He was born with a deformed “elbow” joint and a crooked front leg. Surgery was needed to correct things, and as soon as he got to the U.S., his surgeries were completed successfully.
Lauren Genkinger, founder and head of Adopt a Golden Atlanta, said in Istanbul, the golden retrievers were all over the place. Living on the streets and filling shelter rosters to capacity, and in some cases beyond capacity.
“Ten years ago, golden retrievers were seen as a status symbol dog in Turkey. Then a few years later, everybody had them, and therefore the status was no longer there,” said Genkinger said. “They started abandoning them in the streets. They don’t make it (well on the streets) because the feral dogs will attack them and they don’t fight back.”
Fifteen dogs, all goldens and all under the age of two, were rescued and brought to the U.S. by the rescue. The total of all the dogs rescued was 51, and only 13 are still looking for a forever home. If you’d like more information, you can visit the rescue group’s Facebook by clicking here, or their main page by clicking here.