Greece’s financial crisis has severely affected the lives of the people living there. But the adverse impact of the crisis on man’s best friend has been overshadowed by human suffering. With many Greek families finding it hard to make ends meet, caring for the needs of their dog’s has taken a back seat. As a result, there has been a spike in the abandonment of dogs by their families. Many people have chosen to simply leave their dogs in the wild to fend for themselves.
One man, deeply affected by the plight of these desperate street dogs, took it upon himself to do something!
How It All Began
Theoklitos Proestakis, also known as Takis, was a dentist by profession living in the town of Lerapetra, on the Greek island of Crete. A chance visit to a garbage dump brought him face to face with the horrific sight of numerous starving, injured, sick and dying dogs. He began bringing food and water to these dogs, helping them slowly gain their strength. Theoklitos even called in a few favours from friends to provide medical treatment to these dogs and nurse them back to health.
But the apathy of the humans in that area, who threatened to kill the nuisance-causing dogs, made it hard for Theoklitos to continue his good work.
The Takis Shelter
Undeterred, he came up with a plan. Four years ago, Theoklitos started the “Takis Shelter” as a safe place for him to care for these abandoned dogs. The shelter consists of 33,000 metres of private, olive groves. Here, rescued dogs find a safe haven to heal, gain their strength, run free and play.
Things have not been easy for this kind soul. Along with dealing with complaining neighbours, Theoklitos had to find ways to meet the spiralling costs of caring for the many desperate and sick dogs. Having already given up his job, he now faced with the mountainous task of feeding and caring for the dogs under his care.
Theoklitos ended up having to sell his home and car to pay for running the shelter. Today, he lives in the shelter he created, sharing his life and meals with the dogs he has saved.
Over the years, word has spread about the good work he is doing. Friends and strangers alike are now lending a helping hand. With all the support the Takis Shelter is flourishing today. It now houses a new wing for abandoned dogs and cats.
Over the last 4 years, Theoklitos has saved the lives of over 300 animals and re-homed close to 200. He continues his rescue work, looking for abandoned dogs to save from the alleys, garbage dumps and landfills of Lerapetra.
Theoklitos hopes to continue giving abandoned animals hope and a chance for a better life.
You can learn more about the Takis Shelter or make a contribution by visiting their Facebook page.
Share this post to spread the word about this compassionate and selfless human being and his amazing work. The world needs more kind, loving people just like Takis!