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I desperately need your help bringing pets from Belgium to US.

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  • I desperately need your help bringing pets from Belgium to US.

    I will try to keep this short and sweet. I'm an American that lived in Belgium for a number of years. While there, a woman I lived with worked with an animal rescue group as a foster home provider.

    I have clinical depression and trended to not be social. She adopted a small Jack Russell mix that had been brought from Spain severely injured. She gave the dog to me and told me I had to take care of it or it would die. This touch love tactic worked wonders and I found a whole new purpose in life. I became very social, walked everywhere and nursed that little girl back to perfect health.

    A year or so later, she acquired to sisters. We never could be sure about the breed but they were both very adorable and short to the ground. Of the two, one found a home. The other became mine. Those two dogs were my life and I could write volumes of our adventures.

    Here is the situation. Being there almost six years I had over-stayed my visa. Upon receiving the dogs, we promtly went to the local very and got their shots up to date and re-assigned the ownership of the embedded chips. The woman whom I lived with was legal there and said it was best to put them in her name until I could go back to the US and return to Belgium legally at which point they would be put in my name,

    Time when by and that fateful horrible day came that I had to leave. I hated leaving and I wish now I hadn't. Saying goodbye was the single hardest things I have ever had to do and I promised both that I would return for them.

    Now, in the states I had to rebuild my life and save money for my return. As time went by I stayed in touch with the woman and the dogs, daily at first but it became harder and harder for her to commit to it. She told me how she couldn't afford to pay her rent and if she were evicted, she would end up in a woman's shelter and the dogs would be taken from her.

    I began sending money - and more money, sacrificing my own life and well being. I could not let those dogs be lost in the world because of her laziness.

    Eventually she began out and out extorting me, telling me if I didn't send her 500 euro per month she would move and never let me know where.

    I complied but at the same time I had to do whatever I could. A close friend I have there, whom I met walking my dogs, used the same vet so I wrote a very heart-felt letter appealing to whatever help she could give. I had high hopes because she knew me and the dogs but also I hoped she remembered the conversation about putting the chips in my name.

    I had my friend hand deliver it. She also told the vet her own personal accounts of my interaction with the dogs and how much they meant but also what she knew of the woman who had them and how she is lazy and does not walk them but only takes them right out of the building to pee and such.

    I never got even a "sorry I can't help" response.

    Now I weigh my options. I could go back but I would have to literally take the dogs by force as she has already told me they are now her dogs and I will never get them. I could wait until she is gone and break in and take them along with turning over the house to find their passports. I would need all day and I hate this because I do care about the woman and I have to think it would be devastating to come home and they be gone. Still this option is one ZI consider only because the last time I saw the two dogs, they had become fat and unhealthy. They will die on her floor as she is addicted to Second Life, a game on computer.

    My other option is to perhaps hire a lawyer and see how far that goes.

    From what I understand, even if I choose anhy of these options, the dogs wil have to be quarantined for I think 30 days before they can fly. I will also have to show proof of ownership which means I would have to get them re-chipped. Or I could take my chance and hope they don't check my documents at the airport, which other dog owners who have traveled from Europe to the US says happens sometimes.

    I offered a friend 10,000 euro to do all this. He turned down the offer.

    Its been five years now. I dream of those dogs nearly every night and feel sick about all this. My doctor told me upon returning to the states that leaving the dogs has had a devastating effect on my depression and had been so proud I had been so depression free when I was with the dogs.

    Now I ask this community. Upon review, do I have any options I haven't thought of? What should I do? I am truly desperate.

    I welcome any questions you might have of more details or whatever.

    Thank you in advance.


  • #2
    Re: I desperately need your help bringing pets from Belgium to US.

    Waneman - your issue is a legal one; we are not lawyers and could not advise you on your current rights to the dogs, but the ownership does appear to be an issue. We would say that quarantine would not be required for dogs or cats when entering the United States from Belgium, only proof of rabies vaccination and likely a health certificate. Microchips are not required. We are sorry for your situation and wish we had an answer for you, but this situation is outside of our expertise.