Some of us dog lovers are so dedicated that we are not just content to rescue doggies in our own town or country even, but in a foreign country, well one of these rescuers is Crystal Carson…
Crystal is from Goldsmith, Texas, where her house is taken over, usually by about a dozen foster digs, but she never imagined that she would be all the way in Turkey rescuing dogs!
Her friend, who was also a rescuer, called Ayse Hellig had told her that she knew a woman who helped stray dogs who lived in a landfill in Turkey…
Crystal said: – “She [Hellig] let me know about a young lady — her name is Gokce — who has been taking care and feeding over a thousand dogs in Corum, Turkey …So I got to looking at this young lady’s posts and her Instagram.”
Gokce Erdogan’s page on Instagram had plenty of photos, and many of them really moved her, she thought the doggies whole plight was really heartbreaking!
The dogs at the landfill were really living in the worse conditions, eating scraps of inedible horrible food to survive, sleeping in the smelly horrible garbage.
“Most of the dogs are either street dogs or dogs that have been dumped there …When winter hits there, it’s not like winter here. This is negative 30 degrees. There’s no shelter other than hiding amongst the garbage.”
Gokce is only 23 years old but has spent the last four years feeding and looking after, as well, finding new holes for many of the dogs, as many as she can!
“I was astounded …She was taking on over a thousand dogs, and making it her mission to feed them and get them vetting.”
Gokce was doing great but she really needed help too, it took so much time and resources to care for all the dogs, three ladies, Carson, Hellig and their friend Rachael all said they would help her!
They founded an organization in Jan 2017 and called it Rescuers Without Borders (RWB), it now provides aid not just to the doggies living at the landfill, but also to dogs in the USA and other parts of the world too!
The organization, with some help from a few others, now raises money to help dogs and to get their overseas adoption service running, to give the dogs a better life and find them forever homes.
A network of volunteers visit regularly and go to the landfill, they give water and food to the dogs and make sure they get veterinary care!
“When we pull, we pull about three dogs at a time …When there’s more — like a litter of puppies, we never leave the mom behind. And by the time that they’re pulled, they’re immediately taken to the nearest clinic, to be looked over just to be checked out.”
Apparently, there are just less than 1000 dogs at the garbage dump landfill! The hardest part is choosing which dogs to rescue, but choices must be made to help them.
Carson then said:
“It’s hard to pick and choose, but we often choose puppies because they don’t have the ability to survive in the landfill …Last year, we lost almost every single litter, either being frozen to death or through starvation. We take older dogs as well, and the ones who wouldn’t make it if someone didn’t do something.”
Catching those that really need help is one of the hardest things because the clever doggies have learned to avoid humans for self-preservation, one dog called Goat evaded them for two whole months.
“We saw that his ear was torn and bleeding the very first time that we noticed him …And he had skin issues. So it was our mission to get that dog out of there, but he wasn’t easily caught. He’d come to you for food, but if you put a lead around him, he would freak out and run away. It was a long process.”
Earlier this month and with great relief, Goat was caught and he is now in a facility in Turkey, waiting to embark on his journey to the US for adoption, what a relief to everyone!
Plenty of dogs at the dump are ready to go to a rescuer to be rescued and seem quite happy to be captured!
“They chase after the vehicles …It’s gotten to the point now where rescuers have to shut their car doors because if not, they’ll pile in there.”
“These dogs desperately love people,” she added. “It’s impossible to say ‘yes’ to everybody, but we try to save as many as we can.”
The work is really draining, physically and especially emotionally, It is most definitely worth it when they see a dog saved and re-homed!
One such case was Leo, he was described as being barely alive when he was rescued, his skin was black with mange and he spent months in the clinic getting treatment for his injuries, now he is happy in a home in the USA.
Carson said that:
“Leo actually lives in Wisconsin now …His home is amazing. He has a big brother named Tucker … and he has a huge ranch that he gets to roam with his brother. His mom takes him everywhere and he has tons of toys. It was probably one of the worst cases we’ve ever seen, but he turned out to be this amazing, beautiful dog.”
When this amazing team rescues a dog from the landfill site there is always a few mixed feelings, both in the rescuers and the dogs, they are separated from each other and miss their pals, but at the same time they are moving on to a better life.
Carson saw this recently when they rescued a dog called Jovie and took her to the U.S. last June. Jovie has been living in the US with Carson as a foster dog ever since then.
“Jovie’s teeth were completely rotted …She did not have the ability to eat properly to defend herself in the landfill. She was a favorite of Gokce and we decided to pull her.”
Unbeknownst to the team Jovie was best pals with a dog called Dali, still living at the dump… when Dali was rescued too and they got to reunite the reaction was really amazing!
“Before Dali got here, Jovie never touched a toy and she didn’t act like a normal dog would …But when Dali got here, and I took Jovie out to meet her, it was like the happiest reunion I have ever seen. It was like these two were long-lost sisters or something. And Jovie’s attitude completely changed. Now she loves toys, loves playing around and loves going on walks — and it’s all because she has her friend back.”
Last year alone the team rescued dogs from the Turkish landfill site and gave food and great care for many more dogs there!
They also set up feeding stations for the dogs in remote villages and gave help to many other homeless dogs right through the country too.
“I would like people to understand that rescue goes beyond our own city or state or even country …There are other countries, like Turkey, that don’t … have the access to shelters like we do in the United States.”
So what about the local US dogs? They are not forgotten either, she said about them:
“I never stop working on Texas dogs, I promise you that …I currently have 15 dogs that I take care of.”
What an awesome and inspiring story, we hope that word about what she is doing will spread far, let’s help her, please SHARE this lovely story with friends and family!