Takis Shelter Finds a New Way to Support Their Mission

The story of Takis Shelter is a story that starts as one man’s mission to provide love to every dog that has been deemed unlovable – no matter the cost – and then becomes a story of how it takes a village, a global village, to come together and make the cost not matter.

Takis Shelter, located on the island of Crete, Greece, is dedicated to the rescue of dogs and animals that have been abandoned due to the current financial crisis. The shelter was founded 7 years ago, by Theoklitos Proestakis (better known as Takis), in response to the number of dogs he witnessed roaming the streets and landfills of his town. Desperate to save as many dogs as possible, Takis dropped everything and purchased 5,200 square meters of land to start his shelter – a no-kill, no cage shelter where animals roam free, heal, and find their true forever homes.

“The people, they think I’m crazy. But for me, when I see these dogs suffer from pain, they have a soul…so I want to help them. It makes me feel so good.”

– Takis Proestakis, Founder of Takis Shelter

Since its humble beginnings, Takis Shelter has successfully rescued, rehabilitated, cared for, and handled the adoption of hundreds of dogs.

The Challenge

The cost to feed, vaccinate, spay/neuter, and safely house the animals at Takis Shelter is astronomical – and the number of animals within the shelter’s care is growing daily. The shelter does not receive any financial assistance from the government and relies solely on donations to keep running.

They currently care for over 450 dogs, 50 cats, 7 goats, and 2 sheep. Many of these animals need intense veterinary assistance, which greatly adds to overall costs. Takis even considered selling his shelter at one point because he could not afford it all on his own.

The Solution

Raegan Thatcher, a Bonfire Sales Consultant, saw a video of Takis Shelter that was shared by The Dodo, and felt compelled to reach out.

“I initially reached out to Takis Shelter in late 2019 after seeing a snippet of their amazing work featured in a video by the Dodo!

It was so awesome to work with their team which was mighty but small at the time. Eleni from Takis Shelter shared more about their mission and why they do what they do. She had an incredible design highlighting one of their most beloved dogs – Black!

They make a point to rescue animals of all shapes, sizes, and abilities. Many times rescues will only highlight the perfect pup but Takis is dedicated to sharing all of their stories which I think is incredible!

The campaign launched and immediately found success.  Their original campaign launched in January of 2020 has raised over $100,000 and counting!

I feel so lucky to have played a small part in helping Takis Shelter serve even more animals and continue the amazing work they do with these funds raised.”

Raegan Thatcher, Bonfire Sales Consultant

Takis Shelter’s first t-shirt fundraiser featured a beloved rescue named, Black. The proceeds raised went towards providing spay and neuter surgeries for low-income pet owners in the nearby community who could otherwise not afford it. The campaign was so successful and sold out so quickly that Takis Shelter decided to continue the campaign indefinitely. This campaign alone has paid for 411 dogs and 260 cats to be spayed or neutered. Sadly, Black passed away from his cancer in 2020, but his legacy and his love lives on in the fundraising campaign that is helping to do so much good for the animals at the shelter.

Because the first campaign was so well received, they decided to create a second t-shirt fundraiser, this time having the design feature, Grioula, a senior rescue dog that was adopted by Takis himself. This shirt raises awareness for senior dogs who still deserve a great life, and uses the slogan – old, but gold!

The Outcome

At the time of writing this, Takis Shelter has launched two t-shirt fundraisers on Bonfire and raised over $124,000 for the care of the animals they take in.

$124,337 funds raised

8,428 products sold

411 dogs spayed /neutered

260 cats spayed /neutered

Since the shelter was started, it has more than tripled in size – from 5,200 square meters to 33,000 square meters. The team, which started off as one man, now consists of a crew of 6 who do shelter maintenance, 1 adoption coordinator, and 6 social media volunteers. Together, this team at Takis Shelter has facilitated the adoption of over 600 animals to homes all over the world.

Check out their Bonfire Store to find all of their amazing shirts that support their efforts, and you can follow along with Takis Shelter on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and their website.

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