One man, named Takis Proestakis, living on the Greek island of Crete, turned his life inside out to help others in need. When Greece faced a devastating financial crisis, many affected families dumped their pets because they could no longer afford to care for them. Many of these pets were abandoned on a popular dumping ground.

video source via The Dodo

Takis, a nightclub owner, had no idea this was going on. Until one day, he went to the dump to discard some unwanted trash and saw countless dogs wandering around. The dogs were emaciated and injured. He couldn’t believe his eyes. His heart broke! How could he help these poor animals? There were so many of them in need!

The kind-hearted man couldn’t leave the dogs there like that. So, one by one he took them home. He had brought home so many dogs that he had to move and buy a large plot of land in an olive grove. He wanted the dogs to have room to run and he wanted to save even more dogs if he could. So, he sold his business, bought a large shipping container and converted that into his home and a place for the most injured dogs to heal. He was easily taking care of 300 dogs at one time!

The dogs became Takis’s full-time job. With their mounting medical expenses and food costs, Takis was forced to sell all his belongings to keep up with the bills. But even then, the money ran dry. He was nearly forced to shut down but a miracle happened. A local reporter interviewed Takis and wrote a feature story on the selfless man. And with that, his story spread like wildfire. Donations came pouring in from all over the world!

Takis rehabilitates the dogs. Once they are in good health, he puts them up for adoption. He’s sad to see them go but realizes that they deserve that one-on-one love that a forever home can offer.

Takis has saved at least 500 dogs so far. And he plans on saving many, many more. As Takis eloquently puts it, “This is not a job. This is a reason to live.”

The dogs needed a hero. They got a superhero instead!