The people of Greece aren’t the only ones suffering from the economic troubles that are weighing the country down. When the citizens can hardly bear to support and feed themselves and their children, pets fall to the wayside. For most families, it’s a sorrowful decision to surrender their beloved family pets or leave them to fend for themselves on the streets. But there are others who seem to get some sick joy from watching these poor, defenseless animals suffer.
Theoklitos Proestakis used to be a dentist, but he gave up everything — literally all of his things and his job — to help as many dogs as he could.
Warning: some of the images are hard to look at.
Proestakis, known as Takis, used to be a dentist in Lerapetra, a town in the south of Crete, but he couldn’t stand what he was seeing.
Spaying and neutering animals isn’t widely practiced in Greece, simply because of the expense.
Puppies are discarded on the regular, on top of all the older dogs being abandoned.
The amount of dogs wandering the streets was too much for him to bear in good conscience.
So he gave up his job, his car, and used all of his money to help as many dogs as possible.
Three years ago, he singlehandedly started a shelter without any financial help. He was struggling to keep the operation afloat until social media caught wind of one of the more extreme rescues…
Hope was skinned alive by some monster before being thrown away like trash to suffer in the hot, dry sun.
But Takis wasn’t about to let her die.
This is Hope now, doing light-years better. When people saw the miracles Takis was working,fundraising sites and inquiries started popping up from all corners of the world.
Most of the donations come from other parts of Europe and the United States.
Takis has saved over 200 dogs to date and has re-homed about 40 of them.
There’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t find another dying dog in the streets.
He works seven days a week, full-time. Even when he goes home, he spends time posting his pups online in hopes of finding them new families.
The expense for feeding as many dogs as Takis has to is astronomical, but he’s glad to make it happen.
But now that some of his animals have sponsors and people are donating to his cause, the strain has been lifted a bit, and the dogs are getting fed every day.
Last month, Takis was even able to afford a car to transport the pups to the vet in! This is a huge milestone.
You can really tell all the dogs are so happy to be living in the shelter.
They get so much love, attention, and care from one very dedicated man.
Takis will continue to help the animals suffering from human political failure for as long as there is a need.
Every donation counts towards saving another pup.
Oh, and he doesn’t forget about all the kitties that need his help, too.
“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.”
For one man to leave a comfortable, stable life behind in order to pursue an unsure road like this is truly noble. If only more people were like Takis, the world would be a much better place.
If you’re interested in giving one of these dogs a home, send Takis a message via the shelter’s Facebook page(you’ll also want to follow the page for updates)! If you want to lend a helping hand from across an ocean,you can donate, too.