Southeastern Virginia Golden Retriever Rescue, Education & Training





International Rescue FAQs

Why international rescue?

We get this question a lot! Our mission is to save golden retrievers in need and we know there are goldens in other countries that need us. There is NEVER a domestic golden turned away because of our international efforts. We believe a golden retriever should have a loving forever home, regardless of where it comes from.

Where do we rescue from?

Although we have rescued a few goldens from China in the past, our primary focus is goldens from Turkey. We have formed wonderful and trusting relationships with rescuers there and are proud to partner with them. To date (since 2016) we have rescued 160 international goldens and want to continue those efforts.

Who do we save?

We try to focus on purebred golden retrievers (and a few golden mixes), many of whom were abandoned, neglected or abused. They are facing a difficult life with very little chance of adoption in their home country. Working closely with our rescue partners, we accept dogs who generally have that typical golden temperament and will make wonderful pets for our adoptive families.

What does it entail?

There is a ton of behind the scenes paperwork needed to ensure compliance with both CDC and USDA regulations. It can be complicated and attention to detail is required, but we follow all steps to be sure our goldens are being imported safely. Prior to arrival here in the U.S., all dogs receive rabies, DHPP, leptospirosis, and Bordetella vaccines. Additionally they are tested for heartworm, tick-borne diseases, brucellosis, and leishmaniasis.

When do we travel?

The dogs’ arrival is dependent on having flight volunteers to bring them over. Usually these are people already traveling from Turkey to Washington, DC for various reasons, and they are kind enough to allow the dogs to accompany them. At times we will pay for volunteers to make the flight, but that of course increases our costs. Once we are aware of an available flight volunteer, we ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed.

How can I help?

We are always looking for ground transporters, flight volunteers, donors, fosters, and people with a passion for saving dogs. If this is you, we need you! We are also looking for ways to keep our costs down, and are considering a campaign to collect donated air miles. This would help cover the tickets for our flight volunteers. If you are familiar with this process or have miles to donate, please let us know at Also let us know if you may be planning an international trip and coming home from Istanbul, as we would love to have you as a flight volunteer.

International Donations

It’s no secret that it costs quite a bit to bring our international dogs to the states. With the rising prices of airline tickets, airline crates, vet care in Turkey, meeting CDC requirements (including expensive rabies titers and a vet exam/rabies vaccine at an approved facility on arrival), our international dogs cost over $2000/dog. We know it’s a lot of money, but we think they are worth it.

Will you help us help them?

To make a donation to our international efforts, click here: Donate


Dunya is a 2-year-old male. He came from a poor neighborhood in Istanbul and lived in social housing with his owners. Because many families in the neighborhood hated dogs, he lived on the closed balcony of the apartment building and was not taken out in the garden or on walks. He never got the chance to meet people or other animals. As he got older, he started barking a lot and jumping up against the windows, so his owner contacted the rescue. That’s when he started experiencing the world for the first time. He has become a very happy dog with lots of energy and excitement for experiencing new things. Can you help Dunya get here by sponsoring part of his trip?


Arya is an almost 2-years-old female with a beautiful blonde coat. She lived in the Suadiye neighborhood in Istanbul with a family and a 16-year-old girl. Her young owner was coming to America for college, and decided to leave her with the rescue so that she would have a chance to come to the United States as well. Your donations will help us give Arya that chance.


Zuppe is a 1-year-old male found on the streets of Ankara. A family took him in temporarily, and contacted rescue when his owner wasn’t located. While we don’t know how he ended up on the streets, it was apparent to the finders that he lived in a home before. He is a playful and energetic dog who just loves attention from his people. Please help us get Zuppe to Virginia so that we can find him a forever home.


Sonya is a beautiful redhead who is 2-3 years old. She once lived in a rich and elite neighborhood in Istanbul. When her owners separated, she was left alone in the garden of the vacant mansion. The neighbors would sometimes feed her, but she became ill over the winter and the neighbors contacted rescue. She spent 15 days at the vet getting treatment but is now a happy and healthy golden. Your donations will help get Sonya to her new life in the U.S.