50 Starving Pups in Dump Have No Place To Go, So He Gives Up Job To Save Them All


There are few feelings as satisfying as the one you get when you help someone. Whether it’s buying someone a meal, surprising them with a thoughtful gift, or taking extra time to just be with someone when they’re going through a difficult time, the bond you create is strong.

That applies to helping animals, too — especially when they’re in no position to help themselves. Rescuing and rehabilitating dogs is one of those rewarding experiences.

Many of us have probably had the pleasure of adopting a pet at some point, caring for it, and experiencing the love and happiness the pet pays us back with.

Some have even extended themselves to foster pets until they find their forever homes: going out of their way to put time and money into making a dog adoptable and giving them a better chance at life.

But this man has taken that to the extreme. Theoklitos Proestakis, a 44-year-old from Greece, started Takis Shelter after making a heartbreaking discovery.

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The financial state in Greece has made it difficult for people to take care of themselves, let alone feed extra mouths. In the states, pet owners are encouraged to spay and neuter their dogs, and most rescues and shelters won’t adopt out unaltered dogs, but that sentiment is not shared in Greece.

That means people who have dogs often have multiple dogs, and they keep on multiplying. When they get overrun, many people abandon their dogs.

Do you have a rescue animal?

That’s what Proestakis, who goes by Takis, discovered at the dump near him. He found a dog limping around with a broken leg, and he decided to help it.

Then he found another dog. And another one. And more. They had all been left to forage for themselves.

“One day I went to the rubbish dump and I saw horrible and crazy things there,” he told the Daily Mail.

“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.”

For over a year Takis took care of them at the dump, traveling every day to feed them, until locals got fed up and wanted the dogs moved — or worse.

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“I just wanted to help them. 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 neighbourhood started to get really angry with me, and telling me they were going to kill the dogs because they were becoming a nuisance.”

He did the only thing that made sense to him: purchased some land and built a shelter. Soon he had an acre of fenced land and he started bringing the dogs to his property to care for them.

But it hasn’t been easy. As he takes the dogs from rags to riches, he’s gone from riches to rags. The Daily Mail said he used to be a dentist, and The Dodo says he used to own a nightclub — either way, he once had money, but it’s all — literally — gone to the dogs.

“I am absolutely alone here at the shelter,” he said. “I have no money, I had to sell my car, I had to sell my caravan, I have nothing. I had to borrow money.”

It costs Takis about $2300 a month for basic care and food for the 150-200 animals he usually has on-site. He tries to get as many animals fixed as he can, but it’s an expensive procedure and not all the dogs are healthy enough to go through surgery.

He’s seen everything from once-loved family pets to dogs who have been skinned alive. But all of them are in the same state: unwanted, unloved, and uncared for.

He hopes to get his charges into real families, and relies solely on donations to keep going. He doesn’t get funding or government help, but he’s adamant that these dogs get the love and care that all creatures deserve.

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