Wilmslow resident faces £3000 bill after her Ukranian rescue dog is seized

A Wilmslow resident who rescued a dog from Ukraine is trying to raise £3,000 to bring him back home after he was seized by DEFRA and put in quarantine.

Sarah-Louise Heslop adopted Bailey who was living in Lviv, which was under heavy fire, via rescue charity 'Paws Help UK'.

She collected him in Burton upon Trent on March 20th, however, after spending 4 days bonding with Bailey two men from Cheshire East local authority knocked on her door and told her that the rabies blood tests done by a German lab were fraudulent and they had authority to seize him and put him in quarantine in Bracknell - as this was the only space available.

DEFRA have confirmed that follow-up border checks by the Animal and Plant Health Agency showed a shipment of 19 animals imported by a rescue charity had travelled on falsified rabies documentation.

Sarah-Louise explained "The lab had been recommended to the rescue by the Ukrainian vets and was used for the first time as the usual labs in Ukraine could no longer do the tests. The lab took the animal rescue's money but gave fake results, they can no longer be contacted.

"I was given the 'choice' of agreeing to pay for Bailey's quarantine, vets bills and transport or he would be destroyed. The bills are estimated at a minimum of £3,000 per dog. All the dog owners are devastated at their dogs being taken away, many owners have young children who had their beloved new dogs and puppies removed from their homes. Seeing photos and video of our dogs in kennels is heartbreaking. They are in stark kennels and cannot be walked and can't play together."

She added "I am initially raising money for Bailey but any additional money will go towards the other 23 dogs as the total bill will be about £72,000. None of the new owners had anticipated these costs on top of the initial cost of getting the dogs safely to the UK.

"We are also asking DEFRA to reconsider the 4 months quarantine period which is totally unnecessary when from bordering countries Belarus and Russia are only subject to a 3 week quarantine (same as EU) and no blood tests. Ukrainian refugees' dogs also have a shorter quarantine period and can be quarantined at their UK home. Our dogs fall through a nightmare loop hole as they were brought over by a rescue organisation that means they do not benefit from the same help and flexibility."

UK Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said "Checks have confirmed that these animals did not receive the required blood tests to ensure they were healthy to enter the UK. We are taking quick action to limit the risk of disease spreading by quarantining all animals involved in this case until further notice. We are really grateful for the cooperation of the households involved, this helps protect all our own UK pets. I encourage the public to contact us with any information they may have.

"Animals without the correct vaccinations and confirmatory tests pose a real disease threat to both our own beloved animals and to people whilst also impacting the rabies-free status we have held for many years."

Visit Sarah-Louise's Just Giving page to make donation online https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpbaileyukraine?utm_term=EZy8BA4vJ

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