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Woman stuck in Turkey with dogs

A LANCASHIRE woman has made an anguished plea to come home as fears grow she will be left stranded in Turkey because she can't afford to bring her beloved dogs back to the Fylde Coast.

Patricia Blow from Poulton-Le-Fylde is desperate to move back to the UK from Marmaris, where she bought an apartment in 2005, after the breakdown of her marriage.

But the 59-year-old says the quarantine costs, coupled with Turkish airline rules which insist each dog has to have its own paid-for human passenger, will set her back around £6,000 – making it almost impossible to get them all back to the UK.

An emotional Mrs Blow, speaking from her apartment in Turkey, said: ‘I don't know what to do. I'm stuck out here and I want to come home.

‘There's no way I can afford to put my dogs in quarantine for six months and pay for three people to come on the flight home. I can't have them put down, or leave them in kennels here with all the street dogs – Casper, Holly and Ben wouldn't last a minute.’

The mother and grandmother-of-four added: ‘My marriage has broken down and I have to sell the house, but the market here is very slow – no-one's buying. I can't work here, so I'm on my own with no income and three dogs to look after – I have nothing to live on. It's heartbreaking. I just want to get back to Poulton and see my family and start my life again.’

Mrs Blow’s sister, Barbara Powell, 64, from Pinewood Avenue, in nearby Thornton, is devastated she cannot help. She said: ‘Her situation is desperate. I'm a

pensioner and haven't got the money to help her. Her son Mark has done what he can but we are at breaking point – there's no money in the pot.We just want to get her and the dogs back safely but we don't know how.’

Rules recently introduced by the Turkish authorities mean the dogs cannot be shipped back independently and require one paying passenger per animal.

British quarantine experts say even then, getting them back is not guaranteed as animals are only taken if there is enough room in the hold of the aircraft.

Peter Burke from 4-Paws kennels in Poulton said facing a quarantine bill of at least £4,000 for collection from a UK airport and six months in kennels, was nothing compared to getting the dogs out of Turkey. He said: ‘We've seen huge problems with Turkey over recent months. It seems they've just got a lot more strict and are insisting one person per pet.

‘We're hearing horror stories of people arriving at the airport to be told they can't take their dogs back. Some in our industry are even considering taking a large quarantine van over there to rescue all the British dogs stuck in Turkey and bringing them home. It's a terrible situation.’

A spokesman for the Foreign Office offered to put Mrs Blow in touch with their officials
in Marmaris.