A golden retriever that will soon be up for adoption in Knoxville shouldn't have any trouble finding a home with his new name.
"Peyton" is one of the newest arrivals, brought to Tennessee all the way from Turkey by the Adopt a Golden organization. The other three dogs in the group have Vol-inspired names as well.
"They are Rocky Top names, and we started to name them after our favorite team, Tennessee," said foster coordinator Jaime Thomas, "So we went with Butch Jones, Peyton Manning, of course, Holly Warlick, and then we went with Pat Summitt."
Just a few days ago, the dogs were homeless, half a world away in Istanbul. An estimated 50,000 strays roam the city in Istanbul.
"They live on the streets, in the forest. The shelters do what they can," explained Thomas.
That's where Adopt a Golden steps in, bringing the dogs to America to find a loving home. The dogs take a 12-16 hour plane ride to America.
"They are on a cargo plane, so they are on with other cargo, they have to fly in and go through customs" said Thomas. "They are a little bit stressed, obviously, but they handle it beautifully."
After living on the streets, a trip to the vet is a crucial first step in their health. At Rocky Hill Animal Hospital, the canines are weighed while every eye, ear, and nose gets an inspection.
The new pups were also bathed and fluffed up on Monday, so they can look their best after their journey of more than 5,000 miles.
"They have to adjust to many, many new things. and it takes them a while to do that, but they adjust well," said Thomas, "They are just happy to be petted and loved and fed."
For these dogs, it's a golden opportunity for a new life.
"I love the dogs, and I love seeing them go from not having a home to having a home," said Thomas, "It just warms my heart."
Goldens used to be a status symbol in Turkey, but once the novelty wore off, many of them were abandoned.
Now, they'll find good homes in the U.S.
For more information go to Adopt a Golden’s website.