36 golden retrievers rescued from Turkey arrive in Atlanta

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NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - Thirty-six golden retrievers rescued from Turkey are now in north Fulton County and experiencing for the first time what it's like being a dog.

Lauren Genkinger is the president of Adopt a Golden and helped bring three dozen purebred golden retrievers from Istanbul, Turkey to Alpharetta, making it the largest international golden rescue ever.

“This is all a huge adjustment and to see them running around and playing like real dogs should be," Genkinger said. "Last night they were in shock, I think today they're saying 'wow, what have we gotten ourselves into?'” 

The dogs arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport late Saturday night after a 12-hour flight and seven-hour layover.

Each was abandoned by their owner when the golden retriever, once a status symbol for Turkey, stopped being popular.

Genkinger says she got a call from a Turkish shelter asking for help with overcrowding. She flew 36 to Atlanta and took them to the Pet Lodge pet resort so the dogs can adjust before they're adopted. They even have their own interpreter.

They've never heard English.

The dogs will be available for adoption in early June.