A STRAY puppy who escaped from a restaurant menu in Vietnam has found a loving home 6,000 miles away in Warwick.
At six-months-old Grace was captured and taken to a dog meat restaurant where she was destined for someone’s dinner plate.
But the pup managed to escape by breaking her chain and running off, before being taken into the care of Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue (VAAR).
And when 32-year-old Chantal Attfield visited Vietnam to carry out research for a conservation project, she had no idea she would be taking a new friend home with her.
The agricultural specialist was in South East Asia with fiancé Michael Williams when they stopped by the rescue in Hoi An and met ‘clever and gorgous’ Grace.
She said: “Vietnam kills over 5million dogs a year for the dog meat trade and Grace was captured and taken to a dog meat restaurant.
“A wonderful lady running the rescue saw Grace and inquired as to what would happen to her, fearing the worst which was confirmed.
“She visited the restaurant in hope to help her escape from this barbaric ordeal which kills dogs by boiling them alive.
“But Grace had already planned her escape and after learning to open doors and break off her chain, she was seen running away from the restaurant and was taken into the care of VAAR, where she has been for the last two years.
“After enduring such an ordeal and escaping her captors, Grace deserved the best and I wanted to give her that.
“It was not safe for Grace in Vietnam, with the constant threat of dog catchers and thieves to fuel the trade. I felt a new life in England would be perfect for such a clever, special little girl.”
But to get Grace home took a long time as well as a lot of money to pay for injections, microchips and transport.
Animal-lover Chantal – who also has two other dogs along with rabbits, a hamster, gecko and host of tropical fish – turned to an online fund-raising page to try and generate the £500 needed to get Grace home.
And just three months later the crossbreed landed on British turf to start a new life in Warwick.
Chantal said: “It’s been a long wait but she’s been more than worth it already.
“Grace is very loving and intelligent. She’s a little foxy lady and is so resilient, just taking it all in her stride.
“Grace is a confident dog whose always been hyper vigilant watching her back in Vietnam so it’s nice to see her being able to relax. It was always noisy over there but nice and quite here.
“She’s super skinny despite being in rescue so I’m hoping the peace, normal routine and good food will help this.
“My animals are my everything and Grace has made my heart feel whole again. I want to give her the life she deserves.”
Chantal plans to return to Vietnam in future to volunteer with the rescue she adopted Grace from.
She is also raising awareness about the dog meat industry in the country, and has launched a Facebook page called ‘Say “Grace” before you eat dog meat’.
Search ‘Vietnam Animal Aid and Rescue’ on Facebook to find out more about the charity.