Couple rescue puppy on holiday and spend £2k and a year bringing it back to UK

  • 14 days ago
A British couple adopted a stray orphaned puppy they found on a hike on holiday - and spent £2,000 and a year bringing it back to the UK.

Leanne Greene, 35, and her partner Jacob Brain, 30, were on a three week trip to Georgia when they took a hike into mountains on the border with Russia.

A tiny puppy with an injured leg limped into their path and when the couple were unable to find the rest of the litter, they scooped her up and took her to safety.

The pair named the puppy Tibbi and found two foster homes for her while they worked out how to get her back to the UK - arranging transport and paperwork.

And after spending over £2,000 on flights, animal handling fees, vet visits, and jabs, they were finally able to fly Tibbi to Heathrow, and now he's living his best life at their home in Newquay, Cornwall.

Walks on the beach, a cosy bed and endless treats are a far cry from being homeless on the side of a mountain in Georgia.

Leanne, a dementia researcher, said: "We couldn’t leave her there. She would have died. There was no food and water around.

"We felt: either we take her, or leave knowing that she’ll have a death sentence.

“"We weren’t thinking about getting a pet. She found us."

The pair were staying in Mestia, a mountain village, in October 2019, when they found Tibbi during a 12km hike.

Leanne said: "We were only 5km in when he found Tibbi. It kind of ruined the hike!

"There’s loads of stray dogs in Georgia but you don’t see many puppies.

"Tibbi had a bad leg so couldn’t walk very well. We couldn’t leave her there.

"We spent quite a bit of time, maybe 15 minutes, to see if we could find her mum or litter but there was no sign.

"There was no food and water around either.

"Either we take her or leave knowing that she’ll have a death sentence."

They quickly found a home for the collie husky cross with an American who lived in Tbilisi in Georgia.

The puppy stayed with her for six months, before moving to her second foster home with a former police dog trainer in his 50s, who also lived in Tbilisi.

Leanne said trying to get Tibbi back to the UK was a “horrendous process” - involving a cargo plane flight via Germany.

"The process isn’t simple and there were lots of tears along the way," said Leanne.

She landed in Heathrow in September 2020.

“It was strange [being reunited] because we’d only seen her as a puppy,” Leanne recalled.

“She was just so friendly. We thought she’d be scared, she’d never been on a plane before.

“It was almost as if she’d remembered us. She’s the happiest dog you could ever meet.

"She slotted right into our lives.

“It’s not an easy place to adopt from, but it’s worth it if you can."