Golden retrievers were once a status symbol in Turkey. Everyone had to have one.
But then everyone there did have one, and now the long-haired animals aren’t as special there. A bit fickle I feel!
Many of the dogs are on the streets, fending for themselves, which is difficult for this breed because they aren’t an aggressive dog. Now, it’s rare in Turkey for a golden retriever to live more than five or six years.
Trying to Help
But thanks to a Boynton Beach-based nonprofit, 20 golden retrievers were rescued from Istanbul, Turkey, and are now in Palm Beach County waiting to be adopted.
“It was so important for us to get them out of there,” said Kendra Demme, the events coordinator of the Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue.
Demme managed this rescue, which is the second for the organization. The first one was in January.
The dogs flew from Istanbul to Luxembourg, where they spent one night in a top-notch facility. Then the goldens flew from Luxembourg to Miami. The organization brought the dogs to the Clint Moore Animal Hospital in suburban Boca Raton where most of them will stay for about two weeks as they get acclimated.
Already, six dogs went to a rescue group in Jacksonville. One of those, 10-year-old Denver, was the 700th golden to come from Turkey to America. Two will go to a rescue group in Tampa. Twelve will stay here to be adopted.
The dogs range in age from two to five years. The organization used American history as a theme to come up with names for the dogs. There’s Abe, Betsy, Hamilton, and Franklin.
Some of the dogs were abused. The organization’s volunteers learned that people put out their cigarettes on one of the dogs, now named Sam. He also has scars on the top of his head. Poor baby!
The rescues started with an organization in Atlanta, Ga., and that group has reached out to other organizations to do the same, like Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue. The nonprofit used donations and grants to rescue the dogs. It can cost about $2,500 for travel and health tests.
Many of the dogs played fetch for the first time, they ran around outside, and they scratched their backs on the grass. While the others were outside, Martha went inside and took a snooze in the nice, cool, air-conditioned environment. Volunteers thought maybe that was her first time to experience the luxury.
Marlene Goldman, the co-founder of the nonprofit, sat and watched as the dogs played.
“This is amazing,” she said.
I am so glad that this organization was able to rescue these poor fur babies. But it just gets me so peeved that someone put out cigarettes on a poor dog’s head! People like that should have to answer for their actions.
Seriously, what’s with golden retrievers being “a status symbol” and then “Oh, we have too many. Let’s get rid of them.” Someone needs to tell these people that’s not how pet ownership works.