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‘Midnight express’ lifeline to dogs stranded in Turkey

A LANCASHIRE woman stranded in Turkey with her pets has been thrown a lifeline by a kind-hearted dog lover.

Patricia Blow, originally from Poulton-le-Flyde, near Blackpool faced Christmas alone in the Turkish town of Marmaris with her three dogs because she could not afford the £5,500 to fly them home and cover quarantine costs.

Turkish rules say the 59-year-old would have to pay for two other people to fly so they can take a dog each.

But unless she is able to sell her Turkish apartment – which she plans to do following the breakdown of her marriage – she will not be able to meet the costs.

She said: ‘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.’

But a slow property market has left the mother-of-four fearing she will not be able to return to the UK for several months, if at all.

After her story first appeared in OUR DOGS, Sue Banks from Surrey contacted Mrs Blow to help bring her and the dogs back over land.

Mrs Banks has arranged with a specialist haulage company to pick Mrs Blow and the dogs up and drive them to France where they would be vaccinated and then wait out the six-month quarantine period necessary under the PETS Travel Scheme. As Turkey is not in the European Union, the dogs would have to undergo full quarantine upon arrival in the UK.

After the six months were up, the dogs would be able to travel back to the UK by train or ferry.
Mrs Banks, 59, said: ‘I have heard about people having to leave their dogs behind in Turkey to fend for themselves, which I think is desperately unfair to the dogs and very sad for the owner.
‘I am an animal lover myself and I couldn't see those dogs come to any harm. This is such a sad story and I wanted to help as much as I can. A courier is ready to go and pick her up in early January and we have even arranged kennels and accommodation in France.’

But despite Mrs Banks' efforts, Mrs Blow still needs funds of £3,000 for the transport and cash to live in France during the ‘quarantine’ period.

Unable to work in Turkey, she is willing to work in France to pay her way but is hoping for another kind benefactor or an animal charity to help find some of the transport costs.
Her family is doing what they can to help find some money but fear that without further help Mrs Blow will be stuck.

Anyone who is prepared to offer Mrs Blow and her pets assistance is asked to contact Mrs Banks directly on 07968-433302.