Rave the dog saved by the mercy of strangers

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After two years stranded in quarantine, Rave the Indian street dog is finally able to make a new home in New Zealand.

His owner, Samar Jit, never gave up the battle to bring the two dogs he adopted as puppies from the streets of Mumbai to start a new life in New Zealand. Even when it cost him around $40,000, and two years of anxiety and heartache.

New Zealand donors – both here, and in Singapore – helped to reunite Jit’s “family”.

The first part of Rave’s long and harrowing journey was covered by Newsroomyou can read the piece here.

Floyd, the first of Jit’s dogs, had joined him in Auckland after a standard seven months in quarantine in Singapore. But Rave had to remain for another year, after being bitten by a mosquito and contracting heartworm – a potentially lethal disease not found in dogs in New Zealand.

In May this year, Rave was finally cleared of the disease, and flew to Auckland, where he was kept in routine quarantine. But a mandatory blood test for the heartworm parasite returned positive, and Jit was faced with a distressing choice – send the dog back to Singapore or have him destroyed.

Although Jit and his family were at financial breaking point, they didn’t hesitate in their decision to send Rave back to Singapore so he could be treated for heartworm again.

“I was pleased to help. Kiwis help Kiwis – it’s in our DNA.”

Now, after almost five months of treatment, in quarantine with a family in Singapore, Rave has returned to Auckland – and at last, he’s been allowed to run free.

“After two years, he’s finally got some freedom,” Jit said after collecting Rave from the quarantine centre and taking him to the Auckland Botanic Gardens to reunite with Floyd. “He’s running around, smelling the grass. I don’t know when the last time was when he could run free like this - it must have been back in India two-and-a-half years ago.”

Now Jit, his wife Aparna, and their two dogs have been able to settle into a new life in Hamilton.

Jit acknowledges that the financial stress on the last leg of Rave’s ordeal was relieved by the help of generous Kiwi donors. A Givealittle campaign, called “Save Rave”, raised $3950 which went towards the dog’s quarantine costs.

Then, Jeffrey Halley, a New Zealand businessman and entrepreneur living in Singapore, helped to clear Jit’s Singapore costs. Halley was moved to help Rave after reading about his plight on Newsroom.

“I support a few animal causes here in Singapore, but I also help people in need.  I was deeply moved by how [Samar] rescued the dogs originally, but then by the effort they had expended to get Rave home,” Halley says.

“I was pleased to help. Kiwis help Kiwis – it’s in our DNA.”

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