UK

Vietnam rescue dog gives new owner slip in Paris

Amelia Clayton with Marlin Image copyright Amelia Clayton

A British woman has had an emotional reunion with the puppy she rescued from the dog meat trade in Vietnam - only to see it go missing en route back home.

Amelia Clayton, 22, spent a frantic nine days searching for Marlin after she ran away from a terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on 26 March.

Volunteers enlisted on a Facebook page for lost animals helped track the mongrel down to a wooded area nearby.

Amelia, who is returning to the UK with Marlin later, says everyone was crying.

Speaking to the BBC from Paris, she said: "When she realised it was me... she just fell on her back. I picked her up. I was crying my eyes out.

"Then all the volunteers helping the whole nine days came and saw her. God, it was emotional. Everyone got so attached to this story and trying to find her."

'Heart-sinking feeling'

Amelia, from Bournemouth, had been working for an animal charity in Hoi An, Vietnam, when she came across Marlin and formed a bond.

"She was chained to a wall for nearly her entire life and pretty much the only contact she ever knew from birth was being hit... She was terrified of people."

After crowdfunding the costs of Marlin's veterinary treatment and transportation, the pair left Vietnam at the end of March.

"When we got to Paris after a 16-hour journey. I thought we did it... eight months of planning, making sure everything was perfect. I was so excited."

But Marlin went missing when left "for literally two minutes" with people looking after other rescue dogs at the airport.

Image copyright Amelia Clayton

Amelia says there was a "heart sinking feeling" when she returned from fetching her luggage.

"I couldn't believe it. I was running around the airport crying and screaming her name.

"I spent about nine hours looking for her that night and basically didn't stop after that."

Eventually Marlin was spotted in the wooded area close to the terminal.

Amelia said: "I called her for a bit but I didn't see her. I thought she'd gone again.

"After 10 minutes I saw her head... my heart stopped. I called her name and she just stared at me for ages. Gradually she came closer and closer."

Marlin is exhausted after her ordeal, and while she picked up a few cuts and bruises is healthy.

Amelia praised the "amazing" people who helped the search.

And she says Marlin is now sleeping and eating a lot and looking forward to a "much happier life".