A dentist’s act of kindness to save the abandoned dogs of Greece is going viral and saving lives.
Greece has been struggling through the biggest economic crisis any country has ever seen for the last 19 years, devastating Grecians throughout the entire country. Understandably, Grecian families have been desperately struggling to keep food on the table for themselves, let alone their dogs.
Unable to provide for their dogs in the way they did before, hundreds of people have abandoned them to the streets or even the country’s wilderness, hoping they will have better luck on their own than what they would with their humans.
The tragic sight of an overwhelming amount of lonely, scared, starving dogs throughout his nation has inspired one man to put all his life’s efforts towards making a difference for these loveable canines.
It all started when Theoklitos Proestakis, a.k.a. Takis randomly decided to make a trip to a garbage dump in his town Lerapetra in Crete, one of Greece’s most well-known islands, and he laid eyes on a heartbreaking scene.
Everywhere he looked, the dentist saw hurt, emaciated dogs who were clearly on the verge of death.
Once Takis had visited the dump he couldn’t unsee all of those poor dogs. He didn’t even want to. The man took their welfare on as his own personal responsibility and came back daily to make sure they were fed and had plenty of water to drink.
Determined to help these abandoned dogs heal as much as he could, Takis even plead with friends on the dogs’ behalf for help to get the dogs the medical attention they so urgently needed.
Sadly, locals in the area the dogs were frequenting were, for the most part, entirely indifferent to the plight of the abandoned dogs.
Although the dogs were living in squalor and Takis was only trying to help them survive, threats from neighboring citizens to put the dogs to the slaughter on account of being a “nuisance” both worried Takis and made his already impossible feat of taking care of all them that much more difficult.
Refusing to abandon his mission to help these sweet babies, Takis devised a plan to keep helping these dogs recover and get back to 100%.
Takis mustered his resources and opened a 33,000-meter shelter to protect all of the dogs he’d come across and try to bring them back into the realm of good health. The expansive safe haven for the dogs is set among beautiful and private olive groves where all of Takis rescues can mend and play in the open carefree.
While it seemed Takis had accomplished the mission of rescuing the dogs, he was now faced with an entirely different dilemma, and this time it affected him personally.
Though the dogs were happy to have a new place to feel safe and call home for the time, neighbors to Takis Shelter continually complained about the noise the dogs made. Not able to be at the shelter 24/7, it was nearly impossible to monitor the dogs the way he needed to.
In addition to dealing with the neighbors, Takis had made the heroic decision to quit his successful career as a practiced dentist so that he could take care of the dogs full time, but he had run out of money, spending it on medical treatments, food, shelter maintenance costs, and everything else that goes along with rescuing dozens of dogs at a time.
Takis was starting to feel the crushing weight of financial insecurity and instability all around him.
With all that was going on in his life, Takis knew one thing for certain; he wasn’t abandoning these dogs no matter what life was going to throw at him.
Takis made the tough call to sell his house as well as his car and moved into the shelter to live with the dogs full time. It only made sense to him that he should be there all the time, and there was no reason he couldn’t dedicate some of the shelter space to himself for a place to live.
Then the big-hearted Greek decided it was time for the shelter to go public.
In hopes of shedding some light on the plight of the dogs that Takis was sheltering, and in hope of making the shelter itself survive, Takis took to Facebook to create a public page for his gorgeous shelter. The dog-loving former dentist turned full-time rescuer was elated to see how fast his page, Takis Shelter, was gaining traction.
In next to no time at all, the page had reached over 200,000 subscribers, giving Takis a huge boost in confidence and spirit to know that he was not, after all, the only person in the world to care about these furbabies.
With the massive amount of subscribers that Takis Shelter gained, there also came a huge influx of cash flow in the form of donations from dog-lovers across the globe who were willing to crack open their wallets in order to see his shelter survive.
With the money he received in donations, the shelter began to thrive and Takis started taking in even more animals that had been left to die on the streets, including cats into his rescues as well!
People not only donated funds to Takis Shelter, but they also began donating something even more precious to the shelter dogs; their time.
Now Takis has plenty of volunteers to help him feed, bathe, treat, and most importantly, love on all the wonderful doggies at the rescue shelter.
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Over the last 4 years since opening the shelter, Takis has managed to rescue over 300 dogs, with over 200 of them being adopted out.
Not bad at all for a relatively new animal rescue shelter that opened in a country suffering through one of the worst financial crisis of all time.
Takis is one man with a giant heart, and his faith and perseverance in seeing these animals live out healthy, happy lives has proven to the whole world that acting on kindness, no matter how hard it can get, is always soooo worth it in the end.
If you would like to learn more about Takis Shelter or make a donation, you can do so here.