BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Golden retrievers were once a status symbol in Turkey, but when they fell out of fashion owners released them into the streets or into forests. With the help of the Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue, 18 of the no longer fashionable stray goldens arrived in South Florida Sunday.
"They were status symbols in Turkey for quite a while and people were buying them some countries like the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands," explained Everglades Golden Retriever Rescue president Hermine Scolnik. "They are not fighters and so when other dogs came near them and try to attack them they were the losers."
Scolnik says an American woman living in Turkey started gathering the stray goldens she found scrounging for food in the streets or living in forests. She connected with an Atlanta based rescue group who started bringing the dogs to the United States for a new life.
Of the 18 golden retrievers, seven went to the Clint Moore Animal Hospital in Boca Raton. They were given new names to start their new lives in Florida.
"We've got Sunshine for the Sunshine State," Scolnik detailed. "We've got Davie, we all know where Davie is. We have Kennedy for the Kennedy Space Center. We have Clay, Levy they are for counties in Florida and Bristol for a small town in the panhandle.
Right now the goldens are in a two week quarantine to be sure they are disease free before being adopted.
"We're not finding anything that's out of the ordinary for a stray dog," said Dr. Brian Butzer. "All of them are a little bit emaciated, they need to gain some weight. It's nothing that we can't iron out. No major problems with any of the dogs and their temperaments are awesome, they're wonderful dogs."
While these goldens get caught up on shots, take extra vitamins and enjoy lots of playtime and exercise, Scolnik says she's ready for more to arrive. "I'm ready to do it again let's get these adopted and we're gonna do it again."