Our hero for today is a Greek man named Theoklitos Proestakis. He totally embodies the essence of this quote: “We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – Immanuel Kant
His life turned around completely because of his trip to a dumpsite. Takis – as he is also known, was a former businessman, DJ, and nightclub owner. He later got tired of the nightlife, so he decided to sell his property.
One day, this compassionate Greek went to a rubbish area in his town and chanced upon a disturbing sight of stray dogs. Two dogs, in particular, were both in very bad condition – one dog had a broken leg and the other one had a severe skin problem. Unable to bear the situation, Takis started to look after these poor dogs. Every day, he went to the site to feed them and give them water to drink.
Due to Greece’s economic crisis back then, some people decided not to prioritize the welfare of their pets – a thing that he did not agree with.
“If you love your animal, you will find a piece of bread to give to your dog,” Takis said.
Eventually, this kindhearted Greek noticed that the number of stray dogs began adding up daily. So for one year, this became his routine – taking care of the poor pooches. Thankfully, his kind gesture paid off and the dogs gradually became stronger.
Unfortunately, the residents around the area didn’t approve of the situation. For them, these dogs were a nuisance, so they threatened Takis and told him that they will harm the innocent canines. Takis asked for a 30-day grace period and promised them that he will take away all the dogs from the area.
This led him to put up Takis Shelter in Ierapetra, Crete for them to stay at. He used all of his money to secure and care for the rescued dogs.
A YouTube video shared by Becky Bellinger titled “Takis Documentary“ is a heartwarming recording featuring Takis and his incredible dog rescue journey. His perseverance and sympathy for his furry pals are really remarkable. He did not easily give up on his mission even when the situation seemed hopeless.
Some of the stray dogs he was able to save were car accident victims, while others were sent to the veterinarians to be put to sleep. But while the vets won’t do such a cruel thing, the dogs brought to the clinics are put in a cage and would probably stay there for 6 months up to a year. Can you imagine how devastating that is?
So whenever Takis encounters dogs without a home, he does his best to rescue them and bring them to his shelter.
Taking care of such a large pack, one can only imagine how much would the maintenance costs be. Food, medical needs, and everything else are being shouldered by only one person (just do the math!).
About this, Takis just said, “I didn’t care about the money, I give everything I had to help the dogs.”
However, his money eventually ran out, and he started to struggle financially. He even sold his car to help with his expenses, but it still wasn’t enough. He thought of selling the shelter instead at a very low price.
Until one day, upon learning of his story, someone from the Daily Mail UK called him to set up an interview. Sometime after, he found out that his story was on the news. And just like that, a lot of people sent in their donations and that solved his monetary problems.
Currently, more than 300 dogs, pups, and cats are under his and some volunteers’ TLC. They need all the help they can get, and some are up for adoption. If you want to share some love to the pooches and kitties, details are provided on the shelter’s Facebook page.
Thanks to this particular Greek who is selfless and devotes his time to work in fostering and caring for these stray dogs and cats. We want to go back to what Immanuel Kant said – from the way that you lovingly took care of these helpless animals, it is clear that you possess a heart of gold.
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You may watch the video below: