Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Hampshire family pays £1,300 to be reunited with dog from Dubai

A family from Hampshire has paid £1,300 to be reunited with its dog after having to leave it in Dubai.

The pet, named Holly, was adopted by Darren Smith and his family two years ago when it was a street dog in the United Arab Emirates.

But they had to leave it behind when Mr Smith lost his job and the family moved back to the UK to live in Andover.

However, a chance sighting on a Dubai website led to Holly coming to the UK, and the parties were reunited.

Mr Smith explained that they had taken steps to obtain a pet passport in May, including a blood test which is needed six months before travel, so Holly was able to come into the country without a quarantine period.

But the family was devastated at having to leave their pet behind due to financial costs, adding his daughter Alyssa was "heartbroken".

Mr Smith said he thought Holly had been rehomed with a "nice family".

Image caption Holly arrived back with the family on Thursday

'Priceless' moment

But two months after they returned to Andover, they spotted the animal on a Dubai website appealing for a new home after it was found on the street and in bad health.

The family began moves to bring the dog to the UK and it arrived last Thursday.

Mr Smith said: "When there was a chance to bring her home we had to.

"I grumbled about the money but the look on my daughter's face was a priceless family moment."

Mr Smith said he had to convince the Dubai authorities it had not been his family that abandoned the dog before they agreed to send Holly over.

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