SPCA International Rescues Dog From Aleppo, Syria



Dog reunited with his Syrian refugee family in Montreal tonight

New York, September 26 – Tonight a dog’s difficult and dangerous journey from Aleppo, Syria, to Montreal, Quebec culminated in a heartwarming reunion at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. The rescue took SPCA International months of planning and coordination, but this evening Fox-the-dog jumped into the arms of his Syrian refugee family again and again and again showing his excitement and love for a mother and her two sons who refused to forget him.

The family fled Aleppo, Syria, in late 2015 after a missile hit their home. They were placed in Montreal, Quebec with refugee status. Upon fleeing Syria, the family had to separate, leaving behind their father who is disabled due to polio, their elderly grandmother and their dog, Fox. The father had to stay behind not only due to his own disability, but also because the grandmother is too old for any journey and cannot care for herself.

The eldest son, wrote to SPCA International in April 2016: “I left Syria urgently with my mom and my brother, but we left our lovely dog, Fox, in Aleppo, Syria. We left him with our dad in a very dangerous area named Syrian El-Jadideh. Please help us bring our Fox [to Montreal]. Mom [is] always crying. She is extremely worried about Fox.”

Upon receiving the son’s request, the SPCA International rescue team immediately went to work trying to figure out if a dog rescue from Aleppo was even possible. It took many months and help from two great local partners, Syrian Association for Rescuing Animals (SARA) and Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA), but the rescue successfully ended tonight with Fox arriving safely tonight on a Lufthansa flight.

Fox’s journey was complicated. He was transported from Aleppo to Damascus in the middle of the night by car a few weeks ago. On September 23rd, Fox was driven by military transport across the border of Lebanon and into Beirut. In Beirut, BETA helped with export paperwork and temporary boarding. Finally, Fox flew with a rescue escort from Beirut through Frankfurt, Germany, and to Montreal, Quebec.

When they left Syria, Fox’s family thought they would never see him again. There were shouts of joy as SPCA International Executive Director Meredith Ayan carried Fox to his family waiting outside airport security. They surrounded him with hugs and pet him as he excitedly jumped up on them again and again.

“Rescuing a dog from a war torn country like Syria might seem impossible, but thanks to our incredible partners, SPCAI donors and dedicated staff we overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles and this harrowing rescue succeeded. This is exactly what SPCA International exists to do,” said Meredith Ayan, executive director.

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Watch a video of the reunion.