After one long year of waiting, a family from Colorado Springs will finally be reunited with the dog they left in Afghanistan. With the help of Animal Wellness Action, Rosie, the street mutt the Baquet family never thought they would see again, is now on her way to their home and is expected to arrive on July 5, 2022.
Rosie’s trip is long overdue, and there have been challenges in bringing her into the United States. The country has banned the entry of dogs from over 113 countries due to the risk of spreading the rabies virus.
The Baquet family adopted Rosie in Afghanistan, where they had been living for nearly ten years. The father of the family works as a mining consultant in the country.
Jessie Baquet, the eldest of two daughters, says that they had fallen in love with Rosie immediately after adopting her from a shelter. “We brought her home, and she was just like running around,” she recounts.
But, unforeseen events will eventually separate the family from their beloved dog.
In June 2021, while they were visiting Colorado, their father suffered a stroke that necessitated them to stay in the United States. Concurrently, the US Military has begun its withdrawal from Afghanistan, which culminated in August 2021.
Under such circumstances, the Baquet family had to leave the care of Rosie to their neighbors in Kabul. With the Taliban taking over, they were worried for their neighbors who regularly checked on Rosie and might be at risk of being questioned while under the pretense of visiting an empty house.
The Long Road To Colorado
The Baquet family asked for the help of a local charity in Afghanistan that told them that the process might take a long time. It involves flying Rosie to Canada first, then applying for an exemption from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Afghanistan is one of the high-risk countries on the CDC list for dog rabies. The ban sought to prevent the re-introduction of the virus in the United States.
Jennifer Skiff, Director of International Programs for the Animal Wellness Action, who had been helping the Baquet family, said that Rosie had spent eight months in kennels before getting a charity flight to Vancouver and has been denied entry into the United States several times.
“We filed all the correct documents starting in February, and we kept getting denials even though they were the correct documents,” she said.
However, on July 1, Rosie was finally permitted to enter the country and arrived in Seattle. Skiff and her driver will be driving to Colorado to reunite Rosie with the Baquet family.
Jessie and her family are eagerly awaiting Rosie’s arrival and say that “it’s like adding the last piece of the puzzle.”
Many rescue and charitable animal welfare groups have brought hundreds of dogs into the United States since the ban started. It is estimated that at least 200 dogs in Canadian kennels are waiting to be brought into the country.