Battle to bring home Maggie
All James Turner wants is to come home to New Zealand and bring his best friend Maggie. But it’s going to cost $24,000. The pair met 18 months ago in Monterrey, Mexico when Maggie followed home Turner’s wife Karla from the bus stop.
Maggie was covered in ticks, starving and neglected. So Turner and Karla fed, bathed and pulled off each individual tick with tweezers.
‘‘She was covered head-to-toe in ticks so we decided to get rid of the ticks. We got tweezers and got rid of the ticks one-by-one, but Maggie was exhausted after that,’’ Turner said.
‘‘We brought her inside because it was getting late and I decided to get some dog food for her and she fell asleep.’’
The next day the couple tried to find Maggie a home but no one was missing her.
‘‘In Mexico dogs aren’t really cared for much so there’s not much of a heart for dogs as pets,’’ Turner said.
‘‘The neighbour wanted her but she already had four dogs and they’re never let outside and don’t look well cared for.
‘‘We reached out to adoption pages but they couldn’t help because they only have small spaces.
‘‘So she slowly became our daughter. From there we’ve been looking after her and the rest is history.’’ Well, not quite. The couple are returning to New Zealand to live on the Kapiti Coast, where Turner wants to carry on his photography and Karla wants to practice dentistry.
But the pair refuse to leave Mexico without their new addition to the family.
Unfortunately, six months quarantine and at least $24,000 is the cost of moving Maggie home.
‘‘We’ve got the microchip and we had to wait two weeks after that until we got a rabies shot and then another 30 day wait after that,’’ he said.
‘‘New Zealand quarantine laws are really strict so she will go across to the USA for six months quarantine. We’ll be back in New Zealand then and that’ll be the hardest part.
‘‘With we need NZ$24,000. So far the page has around $105 and a US YouCaring page has US$240 (NZ$400).
‘‘My Mum’s offered money to
‘‘She was covered head-to-toe in ticks so ... we got tweezers and got rid of the ticks one-byone.’’
help but I feel really bad taking that amount off my mum. And I can’t find anyone to take her.’’
If the couple cannot raise the money to bring Maggie home they will try and find a suitable home for her in California.
Turner said the best part of Maggie was her personality, ‘‘It seems to me like she’s always grateful,’’ he said.
‘‘I can leave the door open and she’ll run onto the street but she’ll never leave. A lot of dogs here just run off - there are lost dog signs everywhere but Maggie always returns.
‘‘When I’m editing photos she always puts her paws on me, she snuggles and stares at you.’’
But the stress of bringing Maggie home is taking its toll.
‘‘I didn’t realise taking a pet to New Zealand could be so expensive,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve spoken to people in the same situation and they said from the US, a flight from LA to Australia was going to be $10,000. That’s just for the dog’s flights.
‘‘It’s cheaper for them but still crazy expensive.’’
Donations to bring Maggie home can be .