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14th Aug 2023

Family save ‘adorable’ blind stray puppy and fly him from Mauritius to UK

A British family raised over €3,000 to fly an “adorable” blind stray puppy from Mauritius to the UK – after falling in love with him on holiday.

Natalie Bottomley, 48, said her daughters Taylor, 18, and Georgie, 17, became smitten with eight-month-old Ronnie after arriving on the tropical islet, in the Indian Ocean.

And after convincing her husband Chris about their plan to rehome the cross-breed, she set up a donation page in the hopes of getting him back to Britain.

But the family was amazed when money started to roll in within hours of the appeal going live – allowing them to get him off the streets.

Natalie said Ronnie spent three weeks in an animal welfare sanctuary before he was put on a 13-hour to Heathrow Airport on August 8th.

And she said her family “burst into tears” when they saw him – comparing his story to the film ‘The Lady and The Tramp’ where a stray dog is taken in by a loving family.

Natalie said: “He is the most adorable dog. I believe that he chose us because he has come into our house and it’s like he has lived here for months.

“We burst out into tears [when we saw him again]. It was a bit surreal… He’s a bit like something off a Disney film, like ‘The Lady and the Tramp’. I swear he recognised us, obviously not by sight but by smell, because his other senses are heightened. It’s like he just knew he was safe.”

“He’s just an absolute dream. I was expecting sleepless nights, I was expecting him to be really timid and shy, but he has come into our house and it’s like he owns it.”

Natalie said her daughters came across the cute blind puppy, who they named Ronnie, close to their hotel just a day after they arrived.

She inquired with a local pet welfare centre, The Animal House Rescue, about him, which confirmed he was a stray and in need of a permanent home.

“Within 24 hours of us arriving, both of our girls fell upon Ronnie. He’d been attacked by another dog, and a lot of the people who were staying there had taken a real liking to him as well,” Natalie explained.

The family couldn’t believe they raised enough money to bring him back.

The family then organised for Ronnie to be vaccinated and castrated at a local animal centre before they flew home on July 21st.

They then paid for him to be jetted over to Britain, with the help of the charity Four Paws UK, picking him up from Heathrow Airport three weeks later.

Ronnie has now settled in at their family home in Leeds, where he has their two cats and their Labrador for company.

Natalie’s GoFundMe can be found here.