News Release

Golden Retrievers Coming from Istanbul, Turkey Receive Passports to New Minnesota Home from Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM)

April 8, 2016

Contact: Marti Jones or Mary Reibe [email protected]

Golden Retrievers who have been abandoned and living on the streets or shelters in Istanbul, Turkey are receiving a second chance at life and happiness from Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM). Volunteers will bring at least 20 homeless Golden Retrievers to Minneapolis in March, April, and May in an effort to find permanent homes for the Goldens.

“Their stories are heartbreaking,” said Teresa Varney, president of RAGOM, “For example, we became aware of Vincent a stunning two-year-old male Golden when a friend of RAGOM in Turkey received a call about a dying dog on the beach of the Aegean Sea. When our friend arrived, Vincent was in such bad shape that she could not tell what type of dog he was, but knew he needed help immediately if he was to survive.”

While Vincent is still very thin since his arrival in March, he is healthy and enjoying his new home. Vincent is incredibly loving whose only bad habit is that he likes to give kisses to sleeping humans. He is very social and a cuddler.

One Golden en route to Minnesota is Charlie, but he wouldn’t come alone. RAGOM uncovered a love story during the rescue. Charlie is a handsome purebred Golden Retriever who fell in love with a beautiful beagle, Daisy while in the shelter. Volunteers couldn’t stand the thought of separating them because they wouldn’t leave each other. RAGOM is bringing them in together and will be a paired adoption.

“The opportunity to rescue Golden Retrievers anywhere in the world was a mission that RAGOM had to undertake,” Varney added. “If we know Goldens are in need of a caring home, and individuals who want to give them the best life possible in Minnesota, we feel it is imperative that we get them passports for entry into the United States.”

Because of the high costs to transport the Goldens from Turkey and provide them with veterinarian and other care, RAGOM is asking for financial support from the public.

RAGOM received strong support last year when they brought the first Golden Retrievers over from Turkey, and expects that many people will want to step up again and provide a home for them.

“Through our well-established system of rescuing Golden Retrievers for more than 30 years, we’ll find those individuals and families who can provide these beautiful dogs a safe and loving forever home,” Varney said.

The Golden Retrievers will travel to Chicago on a direct flight on from Istanbul, complete with their health certificates, vaccinations, and passports. From there, they will travel to the Twin Cities by van where they will receive baths, walks, and love at RAGOM headquarters. The Goldens will then receive continually care by RAGOM fosters until their forever home.


RAGOM is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that began as Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota in 1985, with one homeless Golden Retriever in a shelter whose time was up. RAGOM’s founder, Jane Nygaard had her spayed and vaccinated and found her a loving forever home. Since then, countless volunteers and generous donors have stepped up with the energy, selflessness, love, and funds to rescue and rehome more than 9,000 Golden Retrievers and Golden Retriever mixes.

In 2017, RAGOM adopted a new name—Retrieve a Golden of the Midwest—to reflect our dedication to expand our rescue efforts from our original home state of Minnesota to include Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and western Wisconsin.