Man devotes life to rescuing hundreds of dogs

A casual trip to the local landfill has forever changed the life of a Greek man after he stumbled upon an injured dog hiding amongst the trash.

It has been six years since Theoklitos “Takis” Proestakis first felt spurred to visit the nearby garbage dump on the island of Crete.

As he was wandering through the piles of garbage, he found an injured, malnourished stray dog. He knew that he had to help the pup, so he brought it to a local veterinarian for medical attention.


Once the dog was treated, Takis realized that he did not have room for the pup at his own home – so he brought the dog back to the dump and continued to bring it food every day.

During his regular visits to the dump, Takis came upon more and more injured and abandoned dogs. Luckily for them, Takis was more than happy to take the dogs under his wing and provide them with food and veterinary treatment.

After a year of regular visits to the dump, Takis was collectively taking care of about 70 dogs. Despite his fondness for the stray canines, however the locals did not share his affection, and they eventually threatened to poison the dogs if they were not removed from the dump.


Thankfully, Takis convinced them to give him 30 days to find the pups a new home. He then bought a 55-square-meter (592 square feet) patch of land near the dump to house the dogs and named it “Takis Shelter”.

Takis says that after spending 20 years of his life working in the nightclub industry, he has collectively poured over $185,000 of his own money into his new career of saving abandoned dogs.


Since creating a Facebook page for the nonprofit shelter, it has garnered hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic followers. The sanctuary has become so popular on social media, Takis says that it is now almost entirely run on donations from animal enthusiasts around the world.

Six years after his fateful encounter with the injured dog at the dump, Takis told CBS News that he has rescued over 1,000 dogs and he is now caring for 342 dogs – and he hopes to find loving homes for every single one of them.

(WATCH the video below or our international viewers can check out the footage on the CBS website)

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