At the end of a filthy alley on the Greek island of Crete, a frightened, emaciated dog was tied to a length of string and curled up inside an old, dusty tire.
The sores on his legs and hips indicated that the dog had been there for quite some time; his protruding ribs told his rescuer that it had been a long, long time since this abandoned pup’s last meal.
After receiving a tip-off in October 2017, Theoklitos “Takis” Proestakis of Takis Shelter in Crete approached the nervous pup, whose tail started to wag as soon as he realized Takis meant him no harm. The dog rescuer petted the pup to reassure him, checked his gums (white, anemic) and his belly (crawling with fleas), and gently lifted him from his sorry prison inside the tire.
The dog, renamed Figo, could barely stand after weeks of waiting for the owner that would never return. Back at Takis Shelter, Figo devoured his first meal but then crawled forlornly into a cat’s litter box to sleep.
— TakisShelter (@1371Takis) August 26, 2019
“What are you doing there?” Takis teased, gently. “You are in a home now, not outside.” The pup needed some convincing by Takis that he was allowed to sleep on the soft dog bed across the room.
In a tear-jerking video posted by Takis Shelter on YouTube, the dog is filmed enjoying his first peaceful slumber in a safe place.
Before long, Takis discovered a new side to the frail, emaciated dog. Figo loved to cuddle. Having regained a little weight and a lot of his energy, Figo was filmed careening around the shelter’s yard and chowing down kibble. Takis even described him as a “serial hugger.”
Figo, mercifully, is one of many success stories at Takis Shelter. However, how did Takis Shelter really begin?
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Takis was once passing through the communal garbage dump of his hometown of Ierapetra in Crete, and the visit changed his life. He found a dog with a broken leg and decided to take care of him. One by one, Takis discovered tiny puppies in every nook and cranny of the garbage heap; dogs of all sizes, hungry, and needing his help.
Before Greece’s financial crisis of 2008 and the devastating aftermath, these dogs were family pets, reports the Daily Mail. But once the economy crashed and families struggled to cover the costs of keeping animals, their dogs were abandoned, thrown onto the garbage heap, and left to starve.
Figo is booked to be adopted!!!If you want to see videos of Figo follow the link:https://photos.app.goo.gl/iQ1NR8V8iHZKTHKy7
Soon, Takis was taking care of 40 dogs in the area. Locals disapproved and started sending threats. “Just give me 30 days,” Takis said. He bought land with savings from his previous jobs as a dentist and a nightclub owner and built Takis Shelter in 2013.
As the money began to run out, Takis started a Facebook page to let more people know about his work and seek donations. He needed to find a way to continue giving much-needed help to the local dogs. Today, the shelter is funded entirely by generous donations and currently houses 350 dogs, 50 cats, 6 goats, and 2 sheep.
It costs Takis around 8,000 euros (approx. US$8,900) per month to keep his operation running.
As for Figo the tire yard dog, who may not have survived if Takis hadn’t come to his rescue at the right time, there was a happy ending. The dog, fully recovered, was adopted. Takis made the happy announcement on Twitter on Aug. 25, 2019, explaining that “good friends” would be giving the gentle, long-suffering pup his forever home.
This guy gave up everything he owned to save hundreds of stray dogs 👏👏👏
تم النشر بواسطة The Dodo في الأربعاء، ١٥ أغسطس ٢٠١٨
“This is my life,” the dog rescuer told the Daily Mail. “I work so hard here, but when I see the dogs happy and enjoying themselves and learning to trust people again then it’s all worth it.”