- Associated Press - Sunday, January 17, 2016

LECANTO, Fla. (AP) - Florida rescue groups are helping to recover abandoned golden retrievers from the streets of Turkey and are bringing them back to the United States.

Experts say golden retrievers used to be a status symbol in Turkey, but only puppies are considered valuable, meaning many dogs are put in the streets or left in the woods. Government officials would “bury them alive in mass graves, poison them or leave them to fend for themselves,” said Ellen Pavlik, president of Joshua’s House, a rescue group in Lecanto.

It costs about $2,000 to rescue each dog, including airfare, overnight boarding and vet fees. Groups across the state, including Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue, and another in Atlanta, are also part of the efforts.

Adopt a Golden Atlanta Golden Rescue in Atlanta, which has brought national attention to the issue, saved more than 100 goldens last year and is looking to rescue 30 more a month this year.

The Citrus County Chronicle (https://tinyurl.com/gtt5o95 ) reports most of the dogs that arrived last week went to rescue groups in South Florida. Two dogs, Noah and Ben, went to Joshua’s House. Ben is already claimed for adoption, and Noah will likely be adopted soon.

Just a few months ago, the two were roaming the streets of Turkey searching for food and finding themselves easy prey for more aggressive feral dogs.

“We have a waiting list of people who want to adopt a golden,” said Pavlik. “That’s one of the main reasons for wanting to get these young, healthy dogs. There are very few available in this area.”

Pavlik’s organization is named after Joshua, who was beaten and abused so badly that one leg had to be amputated and he had to undergo specialized surgery on his hips as a puppy. A doctor advised that the dog be euthanized but Pavlik said he’s now 11-years-old and is a certified therapy dog.


Information from: Citrus County Chronicle (Crystal River, Fla.), https://www.chronicle-online.com

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