A rescue dog has been put into quarantine at Heathrow seven weeks after it arrived in the UK due to “falsified documents” and faces being put down. The Montenegro rescue’s owner is five hours away in Cornwall and completely distraught at the situation.
Clare Smit, who lives in Mylor near Falmouth, rescued Farley the street dog from Montenegro through a European-based charity in March. He was saved from a life of hurt in the streets and was just beginning to settle in after nearly two months in his new home when he was taken from them and moved five hours away to a cage at Heathrow.
He will now spend as many as four months in there, without even being able to leave to use the toilet as Mrs Smit scrambled together the £3,700 she believes will be needed so he won’t have to be euthanised.
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“He has been at home with me for seven loving weeks and he has just started to come out his shell and learn to play with toys,” she said. “Then I found out the paperwork is fraudulent and he has been taken to Heathrow for quarantine.
“From living on the streets he was severely underweight and has an addiction to water as he never knew when he was going to drink next. He has mild anemia which we are also trying to get to the bottom of.”
She continued: “However, even though I rescued him from a legitimate charity it turns out they falsified his documents and put him in further jeopardy. Nothing started to match up and the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) forcibly removed him and put him in quarantine five hours away. It’s heart breaking. The quarantine means he isn’t even allowed out for a wee break. For 16 weeks.”
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She was faced with just two options – to have him euthanized or pay out what could be around £3,700. “He is the best dog in the world,” she said. “This has been a terrible experience but there was never any decision to be made.”
As a result she has launched a fundraiser in the hopes they can raise the money required to have him back home with them soon. “He’s such a sweet little dog and he’s got this water addiction that we are trying to get on top of and with the stress of everything, it’s just not what he needs right now. He needs a healthy routine.”
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She’s hopeful that the London-based vet will acknowledge that the dog has already been in the UK for seven weeks and won’t start the 16-week quarantine period over, but she is struggling to get any answers and because he didn’t have a chip on arrival it’s unlikely they can verify exactly when he arrived.
“It looks like the whole thing was a complete shambles at the charity really. No-one is giving any answers and taking responsibility and anything they have provided to us to help has just got us into more trouble so we’ve left it at that Emotionally it’s really stressful and then you’ve got the money to worry about as well so any little helps and means I can just relax and hopefully he’s being taken care of there.”
The largest chunk of the bill is the £850 she has to pay to Cornwall Council Trading Standards for transporting the dog back to quarantine in the first place. She has also been given the option to pay the total bill when she receives it in installations, or pay £150 to have Farley euthanized – an option that she would never consider.
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), formerly known as the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It sixteen dogs coming into the country if their entry does not comply with the legislation concerning the importation of dogs entering the UK and they are put into quarantine.