A Greek DJ has built a rescue home for over 300 stray dogs after discovering a sick stray in a rubbish dump.
By, 23 Apr 2019
Theoklitos Proestakis, of Ierapetra in south Crete, was out for a wander around his local tip one simmering day in 2013 when he was approached by a stranger: a solitary dog, limping from an injury.
Gentleman and the tramps
Recognising that nobody else was about to take responsibility for the dog, Proestakis took him to the vet for treatment. The DJ didn’t have enough space at home to adopt the dog, so he returned him to his rubbish dump hang-out, and returned each day to pass the time and administer medicine.
But word got around.
After a few days, more dogs began to emerge from the rubbish piles.
“Another dog and another dog and another dog. I was taking care of 50 dogs,” Proestakis told CBS. “After a few days, I was taking care of 70 dogs. Every single day.”
For this veritable Doctor Doolittlkis, it was a challenge – but worth the work. Unfortunately, bitter locals soon took umbrage with the thriving canine community and threatened to poison them.
What’s with people?
Following the threats, Proestakis pleaded with his uncharitable neighbours for a 30-day stay of execution. He used this time to buy a 500-square-metre stretch of land nearby – the start of a £142,000 personal investment that is today bolstered by generous donations via the Taki’s Shelter website. He quit the DJ business, sold his car and caravan, and set out to rescue a new dog every day of the year.
Six years on, Proestakis runs a 33,000-square-metre, £6,000-a-month dog shelter near the dump. He has a smattering of cats and goats, and 342 rescue dogs – with the dozen-or-so “most sensitive dogs” at any given time sharing Proestakis’ bed in his on-site container home. But he sleeps only 2-3 hours a day, with the rest of his time spent caring for the dogs.
The strays are welcome to come and go from the shelter as they please. Over 1,000 dogs have passed through, with 200 of them adopted along the way. Proestakis posts photos of eligible pups on the shelter’s Facebook page: his “beautiful little bears looking for a home.”
What has your local nightclub DJ done for dogs lately?