This story is about Faith, a puppy who was dying from distemper in a Turkish shelter. Thanks to wonderful animal lovers, Faith defied the odds and today lives a happy life.
Faith and her siblings were among 4,000 dogs living in a no-kill shelter in Ankara, Turkey. While a noble cause, the shelter was underfunded and overcrowded with needy dogs who were living in poor conditions.
Mary and her daughters, Abby ,Anna and Alaina who live in Turkey and are animal lovers. When they saw the living conditions in the shelter they could not help but cry.
There were “rows and rows of cages” with “20 dogs per cage.”
Even though Mary brought 6 large bags of dog food it wasn’t enough to feed more than 2 – 3 cages of dogs. The poor dogs were starving because the shelter staff could not keep up with sheer number of dogs under their care.
Puppy Faith and her 3 siblings were among the starving dogs. Not only were they malnourished, the poor little pups also had canine distemper when Mary and daughters found them.
Canine Distemper is a highly contagious airborne viral disease that flourishes in overcrowded conditions. It is a highly fatal disease especially for unvaccinated puppies like them.
Euthanasia in Turkey is not common and may only occur in the most extreme cases.
When Mary and her daughters saw that the poor puppies were near death,they brought them home to die “in peace” and not be “trampled over” by the other dogs.
Sadly, three pups died. But Faith, the runt of the litter, survived.
It is estimated that 80% of puppies that have distemper and have reached the neurological stage that Faith had die. But Faith is a fighter – amazingly she recovered.
Although she will always have lasting physical and psychological effects from the virus, she continues to enjoy life and 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 made it their mission to help as many needy dogs in Ankara as they can.
The family feeds and provides medical assistance (when necessary) to over 50 street dogs every day because they believe helping just one does make a difference.