Sometimes pets come into our lives where and when we least expect them, but sometimes you know it’s just mean to be.
That was the case recently as one newly-engaged couple fell in love with two stray dogs in need of help while on vacation — and are now working to bring the pets home with them to give them a better life.
Ben Jenkins and his new fiancee Charlotte Long, from Waterlooville, England, recently got engaged while on a trip to Mauritius, an island nation in East Africa.
But now, they’re planning for more than just a wedding after finding two unexpected new friends while overseas.
While at their resort, the couple met two stray dogs: a black-and-white male they named Moo, and a black female they called Mauri.
The couple described the dogs as “horribly underweight and full of scars and scrapes.” The stray dogs were desperate for food, and while staff at the hotel reportedly chased the dogs away, the couple fed them scraps of food from the buffet.
“Since we met them every morning we would walk along the beach to meet them and then go for our breakfast and fill up napkins full of eggs and bacon etc to take for them to eat,” Ben told Daily Mail.
The couple said the strays were just a small part of a “huge stray dog problem” they witnessed in Mauritius: “From the moment we arrived we have witnessed hundreds of dogs in extremely poor states,” they wrote.
They also learned that locals in the area are known to drown or poison stray dogs, and that their hotel was known for treating dogs poorly.
Over their two week vacation, they became attached to Moo and Mauri, and the dogs became attached to them in return. Realizing their new friends would likely face a life of misery or death, they decided to take the dogs home with them.
“Despite how fearful they are, they have both latched onto us and followed us everywhere, they even allow us to stroke and cuddle them which makes you imagine the kind of treatment she in particular has been accustomed to,” Ben told Daily Mail.
“We… made up our minds that we had to do something to help save these poor babies from that potential fate.”
However, it was easier said than done: after reaching out to a group called 4 Paws Rescue & Relocation, they learned that the process of bringing the dogs home would cost £3,500 (or just over $4,000).
Unable to pay for it themselves, they turned to the internet for help, setting up a GoFundMe page, asking for donations to help “bring these babies to safety and stop them from having to simply survive each day and instead give them a life full of love and food and fun.”
Thankfully, people came through: the page currently has over £3,700, surpassing their fundraising goal. The couple wrote that they hit their target in just 24 hours.
Moo and Mauri will now receive all their vaccinations and shots, be sterilized and microchipped, rid of fleas, ticks and worms, and finally in a few weeks will be flown to the UK to finally be in their new home.
The couple are eagerly awaiting their dogs, and are shopping for toys and beds “to spoil these babies and make them as comfortable and welcome as we can once they arrive.”
We’re sure that Moo and Mauri are going to love their new home, certainly a far cry from suffering on the streets of Mauritius and begging for scraps of food.
Thank you to Ben and Charlotte for giving these beautiful stray dogs a home, and thank you to everyone who donated to make it happen!
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