Q & A Turkey Dogs

1. Why are you rescuing dogs from Turkey?
AGA never says no to a Golden Retriever in need. There are many homeless dogs in Turkey and not enough room in the shelters for all of them. Because there is no shelter euthanasia and few adoptions in Turkey, dogs either live out their lives in a shelter or are put on the streets or in the forests after they are spayed or neutered and given rabies vaccines. But Golden Retrievers don’t survive well on the streets. They are not good pack animals and won’t fight back, so many are attacked by other dogs and their survival depends on people helping them. Hundreds of volunteers in Turkey are contacting us to rescue these dogs because they want a better life for these dogs. They work with us to make this happen.

2. Why do you call them the Turkey Dogs?
We know that the proper way to refer to these dogs is Turkish Dogs but we are taking license with proper grammar. We started calling them Turkey Dogs and realized it was a catchy, fun name that people found easy to remember and kids love to talk about.

3. What kind of medical care do they receive in Turkey?
They receive basic medical care in Turkey, including spay or neuter and rabies vaccines. They don’t receive much specialty care, so we see some orthopedic, dental or skin issues that require treatment once the dogs arrive. But overall, we don’t have to spend as much money on medical care for the Turkey Dogs as we do U.S. dogs.

4. How are the dogs chosen to be sent to America?
Several factors go into which dogs are chosen for each flight. Priority is usually given to dogs who live on the streets and in the forests, to the young dogs, and to the injured dogs. We also bring dogs who have been living for years in shelters and appear to have lost their spirit. Amazingly, these dogs get the sparkle back in the eyes once they are placed in a loving home.

5. Why aren’t they quarantined when they arrive?
The dogs are quarantined together in Turkey before they leave the country. So they are vetted and receive their health certificates and passports in Turkey. The U.S. does not have a quarantine period, however, the dogs must have the proper documentation and must be cleared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon their arrival in the U.S. Once in Georgia, we make sure that the Department of Agriculture receives all documentation and health records on every dog.

6. How are they transported to the U.S.?
When AGA began this rescue effort, we researched and found the best and safest way to transport live animals from one continent to another. The dogs actually fly in air-conditioned, pressurized cabins, just as humans do! We purchased extra large airline crates, and take all measures to ensure the safety of the dogs in their flight, engaging several partners.

7. What happens after they arrive in the U.S.? Are they vetted or temperament tested?
Once in the U.S., the dogs receive wellness exams, bloodwork and fecal tests, as well as additional vaccines and, as we do with all of our orphans, Adopt a Golden Atlanta will see that they receive any additional medical care they need. Each dog is also evaluated by AGA trainers to determine what they know and don’t know, such as if they can walk on a leash, so any training needs can be started.

8. How much does it cost to bring the dogs here and how do you pay for it?
It doesn’t cost us any more to bring dogs in from Turkey than it does to rescue a U.S. dog from a shelter. The Turkey Dogs are already spayed and neutered, so we don’t incur that cost. And, because heartworm disease is so rare in Turkey, we don’t incur the cost of heartworm treatment as we do when rescuing a U.S. dog.

9. How does bringing the Turkey Dogs to America affect Golden Retrievers who need to be rescued here in the U.S.?
The National Rescue Committee of the Golden Retriever Club of America supports AGA's effort as there are no Golden Retrievers being put at risk in the U.S. because of this rescue. Every Golden Retriever rescue in the country has a waiting list of people who want to adopt a Golden. Hundreds of volunteers in Turkey are contacting us to rescue these dogs because they want a better life for these dogs. They work with us to make this happen.

10. Is the process different for adopting a Turkey Dog? Our adoption process for Turkey Dogs is the same as it is for other Golden Retrievers, except for the adoption fee.

  • The adoption fee for Turkey Dogs is $800 – higher than our normal fee to help with transportation costs and the crates we have to purchase.

  • Interested adopters should go to www.adoptagoldenatlanta.com and click on “Adopt a Golden” to learn about the adoption process and complete an adoption application.

    11. Are the Turkey Dogs only going to Atlanta?
    No. Although AGA started the program, many other Golden Retriever rescues across the U.S. are now participating, as well as Canada. Ask your local Golden Retriever rescue or contact us and we will tell you which participating rescue is closest to you.