One man by the name, Theoklitos Proestakis, locally known as Takis, has given up pretty much everything he is and has owned just to be able to save abandoned dogs. Takis who runs a shelter in the south of Crete has already saved more than 200 dogs over the last 3 years.
Takis, a former dentist, decided to give up everything when he was shocked to see the amount of suffering the animals were going through in his home town, Lerapetra.
“I am absolutely alone here at the shelter. I have no money, I had to sell my car, I had to sell my caravan, I have nothing. I had to borrow money. I was ready to sell it a few months ago, because I couldn’t see how I could carry on.” He told the MailOnline.
It costs Takis €1,300 a month to feed all of the dogs he has in his care. He also spends an extra €700 at the vets. Unfortunately, Takis said local authorities are both unable and unwilling to help fund the shelter. He further revealed that the shelter has only been able to survive on funds only from his own pocket and donations from well-wishers from the US and other European countries.
“One day I went to the rubbish dump and I saw horrible and crazy things there. There were so many dogs, and they had broken legs, they were starving, they were so skinny and so sick and dying. It horrified me. I just wanted to help them.” He explained.
He added, “So I started looking after them, taking them food and water and I was so happy when I saw they started to get stronger. But the people who live in the neighborhood started to get really angry with me, and telling me they were going to kill the dogs because they were becoming a nuisance. So I started the shelter as somewhere safe where I could keep them.”
Most of the dogs Takis has taken into his shelter have been starved, beaten or mistreated by their owners before being abandoned. People began sending in donations after he started posting pictures of his dogs and their recovery online in an attempt to find them homes. “People have seen the pictures and want to help. I still have my shelter, and now I have hope.” He said.
“This is my life, it’s difficult but I love it. 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.” Takis added.
Over €10,000 has been donated to the fundraising site Takis set up, enabling him to buy a car so he can take his dogs to the vet without mush hassle and the airport if they have been re-homed abroad. So far he has managed to re-home around 40 dogs.
You can donate to Takis’ shelter here.