A DOG who was attacked with a machete in Sri Lanka has found a new home with a Warwickshire couple.
Observer journalist Laura Kearns and partner James Pedley read about the plight of the dog on social media and knew they had to help.
The one-year-old Sinhalese Hound was attacked by her owner and dumped on a beach.
While she had been taken in and treated by a local dog rescuer, multiple calls to rehome her went unanswered and she faced an uncertain future.
But Laura – who has twice visited Sri Lanka in recent years – contacted the rescuer, who she met while last in the South Asian country, and said as a last resort she would find a way to take the dog.
Laura said: “After visiting Sri Lanka we knew this dog would not survive if she was put onto the streets. She had been owned before so had no road sense, and we had been told she was very friendly so knew she would follow the wrong person and the same thing would happen again or worse.
“When it was clear there was no alternative we set the wheels in motion to bring her to the UK – although we did not take lightly the idea of flying her such a long way.”
The couple were quoted around £1,000 to fly the dog over, but final costs tipped more than £2,000.
They raised £1,700 through a fund-raising page and a fun day, with family and friends helping to run stalls and bake cakes, and local businesses including Warwick Castle, Hotel Indigo, Stratford Butterfly Farm, Hatton Country World and Dhillons Brewery among those to donate prizes to a raffle.
During this time the dog was moved to a sanctuary called Tikiri Trust in Kandy where she had to wait for three months after having a rabies jab and other vaccinations before she was able to fly.
The decision was also made to call her Kandy, after the city she was living in.
James said: “It was amazing how supportive everyone was, we could not have done it without their help. From our family, friends and colleagues to people we had never met, people went above and beyond to help us save this little dog’s life.
“Kandy was looked after so well at the sanctuary, which is home to around 200 other dogs, some who live there and some who are waiting to be flown to new homes in Europe. It is run by an incredible woman who opened it using inheritance left by her father and now her life is caring for the animals there.
“We had some setbacks along the way, and Brexit was looming, but finally she could fly at the start of January.”
The pair were told dogs from Sri Lanka to the UK have to come over on a cargo flight, which takes 24 hours and costs around £2,000.
They then discovered it was only £500 and only 11 hours to fly Kandy to Germany as she could be placed in the hold on a passenger flight.
Deciding she had been through enough already they agreed to drive to Frankfurt to pick her up – a ten hour drive.
With James away, Laura enlisted the help of her sister Rebecca and friend Sophie Williams to share the driving duties and spread the trip out over four days, with 24 hours needed so Kandy could see the vet to be wormed before she could board the Eurotunnel into the UK.
But not everything went smoothly. Kandy missed her connecting flight in Dubai and no one from the airline seemed to know where she was.
But Kandy eventually got a flight and did not seem too upset by her experience. She was excited to get out of the crate and has enjoyed lots of love, treats, toys and a soft bed to sleep on ever since.
And plenty has surprised Laura and James about rescuing a foreign dog.
Laura said: “Kandy has settled in so well, it’s like she has always been here. We have taken things really easy, constantly bearing in mind that everything is new to her.
“Most things we were prepared for – the change in weather for her and that the home she lived in before probably was not like ours – but some things have been a surprise.
“She had never seen a tv, had never been upstairs before – now we can’t stop her – and she still jumps every time she sees herself in the mirror.
“All the stress of getting her here has been worth it, she is an amazing little dog and despite being attacked she loves people so much.
“Thank you to everyone who helped get us here.”
Search ‘Eva Ruppel’ and ‘Katharina Allgeuer’ on Facebook to find out more or donate to the two dog rescuers who helped to save Kandy.