Takis’ Shelter where love heals, through one man in Greece who has become something of a God Father for the local abandoned, abused and homeless dog population after a financial crisis that disrupted the country.
“When you see these poor dogs and they are very close to dying, and you help them, and after you see them healthy and they run happy, and they come to you and give you so much love…it’s amazing feeling.”
Caring For Over 400 Dogs And Cats – For Many Years Single-handedly
Set up in 2014, and with the sole purpose of rescuing the stray, abandoned animals of his town, Takis Shelter cares for over 400 dogs and cats today. Since 2014, Takis Shelter has re-homed over 200 animals. The wast majority of the shelter’s cats and dogs have been sterilized with only a remaining few left, due to their age or health.
Run Free And Happy
Based in Ierapetra, south east Crete, the rescued dogs and cats have up to 33,000 square meters of private, enclosed olive groves to run around in. Takis Shelter maintains over 20 fenced areas in the enclosed olive groves.
The dogs and cats are permitted to run free. There are multiple dog houses and small sheds where they can sleep and have privacy. Even a cool tipi built from reeds, surprisingly water tight. Takis spends time with each new arrival to make sure they land safely and feel comfortable and safe. When the time is right he places them with the appropriate group of dogs, to prevent fights from breaking out. The dogs are happy and play together well.
FB Live footage August 2020
Still many more need help
There is still an overwhelming amount of stray cats and dogs in the south of Crete that need rescuing. And very few people willing to help. In the past, dogs have been found left tied-up, often with their puppies in a box, outside of the shelter. This shelter receives no help from the authorities and relies solely on donations, most of them from outside of Greece. Dogs are left outside the fences of the shelter regularly, people call to tell they see a homeless dog in dire straights somewhere, or tourists pick up an abandoned dog with puppies on the road and bring them to the shelter. There is a constant influx of new dogs in need for help. And Takis does help.
His service to the dogs has not come without a great impact to himself, both in terms of pressure to keep up with all the work as well as financially. Working seven days a week caring for his fur babies and the shelter, he also uses social media to help find proper, loving forever-homes for the dogs. On top of that, he greets visitors who come and socialize with the dogs and maybe look for a pet to adopt, take care of people who come to pick up their new adoption pet, manage all the vet appointments and give care and medication to the pets that are sick.
Takis Documentary got 110 million views
During an existential and financial crisis at the shelter, Takis Shelter by a stroke of luck received news coverage around the world, thanks to The Dodo video that went viral with over 110 million views. This came in timely to save the shelters existence with much needed funding, as Takis had invested his entire personal reserves on developing a good life for the dogs and cats.
Social Media Helps With Fundraising, Adoption And Volunteering
Recent online fundraising has earned Takis a lot of supporters. When he frist developed a campaign on YouTube to promote the shelter, he earned $26,505, far exceeding his goal of $1,705. Volunteers also showed up. The website is entirely created, paid for, and maintained by a volunteer. No Takis Shelter funds are used.
Constant communication with the outside world on social media has given a new sprint to the Shelters survival. Visiting and Volunteering has been set up to spur adoption and help alleviate Takis’ work load as he has been assuming the whole operation more or less single-handed for many years.There is even a Takis supporter in The Nederlands who act as a foster-home and adoption unit for people who want to step in.
Every Dog Needs A Home
“My dogs who are in the shelter, they have a good life…but a home is a home. Every dog needs a home.”
Some rescues have been ill-treated and their lives are just beginning. They all need the security of loving homes where they can rebuild their lives and find happiness and thrive.
It is very important that new pet owners meet their prospective new family member in person, and that they choose each other. This is the first step in ensuring that they will have a long and happy life together!
There are no adoption fees. Takis only asks new pet parents to pay for the pet passport and an IATA-compliant animal carrier.
Suffering Dogs Have A Soul too
“The people, they think I’m crazy. But for me, when I see these dogs suffer from pain, they have a soul…so I want to help them. It makes me feel so good.”
“Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul.” — PYTHAGORAS, and should we add TAKIS ?