An American mom and her daughters were volunteering at a shelter with 4,000 dogs in Ankara, Turkey when they decided to bring home a litter of sick and dying pups to let them pass in peace but a miracle happened – Faith, the smallest pup, survived.
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Americans Mary and her daughters, Abby (17,) Anna (15,) and Alaina (11) live in Turkey and are animal lovers. They donated their time at the local animal shelter. What they saw there was shocking. Alaina was brought to tears. They saw “rows and rows of cages” with “20 dogs per cage.” Mary would bring 6 large bags of dog food and would be unable to feed more than 2 – 3 cages at a time. The dogs were starving because the staff was unable to keep up with the amount of dogs.
Faith and her 3 siblings were some of the starving puppies at the shelter but they were also very sick from distemper, a highly contagious viral disease that is easily passed in the air especially in over crowded conditions. At this shelter in Ankara, Turkey there were 4,000 dogs – an unfathomable number. They do vaccinate at the shelter but for rabies, rarely for distemper leading to the spread of the virus.
Euthanasia in Turkey is also rare and may only occur in the most extreme cases. When Mary’s daughter saw Faith and her siblings near death she brought them home so they could die “in peace” and not be “trampled over” by the other dogs. But Faith, the runt of the litter, had other plans.
It is estimated that 80% of puppies that have distemper and reach the neurological stage like Faith – do succumb quickly. But by a miracle, Faith was able to recover. She will always have lasting physical and psychological effects from her time at the shelter, but she gives and receives nothing but love to and from her new family.
Since Faith came into their life 3 years ago, Mary and her family have now made it their personal mission to help as many street dogs of Ankara as they can. They feed and provide medical assistance (when necessary) to over 50 street dogs every day because they believe helping just one does make a difference.