Bat­tle to bring home Mag­gie

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - RACHEL CLAY­TON

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 .

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