NEWS AND COMMENT: Depending upon your point of view, Kelly Walker, is either an angel or she is stupid. For me she is an angel. She loves animals and followed her heart. She saved £14,000 for a deposit for a home for herself and she spent it according to the Mirror newspaper to ship two young feral cats that she had met in Turkey home to the UK during the pandemic.
The story is gargantuan in its difficulty and persistence from Kelly Walker. She went through enormous hurdles to get them back. We have to praise her for her commitment and persistence and sheer love which got the job done.
Kelly Walker visited the seaside resort of Antalya in November 2020. She saw the feral cats who she named Delilah and Harriet. I’m going to say right away that I am sure there are a huge number of feral and community cats in Turkey so it was not unusual for Kelly to see these two cats. What is unusual is that she decided to adopt them.
Kelly is from Barnsley, South Yorkshire. She fed the cats and got their trust. She took them to a local veterinarian for treatment. She said that the vet looked at her as if she was stupid. Harriet was about six weeks old with parasites and various medical issues. It seems that she was told she might not live that much longer. It looks like she lost her right eye to an infection.
Kelly paid £3,000 upfront to get Harriet and Delilah vaccinated, neutered and looked after at the veterinary surgery when she went back to England. She said that she couldn’t “leave these poor little souls like that with nobody to help them”. A beautiful and tender sentiment for which she must receive a massive amount of praise. I wonder though whether she will regret it in years to come when she struggles to buy her first home which is a big and important step for a young person as investing in a property in the UK is the best investment that you can make in the long term. I hope not.
She planned to fly them back but because of the Covid pandemic lockdown she was not allowed to leave Istanbul airport for days. She was told there was no chance of takin the cats out and was advised to euthanise them or return them to the street from where they were taken (TNR). She found a pet hotel for them. She left them there and went back to the UK.
On October 8 this year she returned after nearly a year to collect them to bring them home. When she got to the airport she was prohibited from flying again due to strict rules on taking live animals out of the country. She said that she went to the airport with her cats to go back to the UK with them and was told point blank that it was not possible.
At that point she had spent £12,000 and felt defeated. She went to several airlines but they all said the same thing namely that it could not be done. She returned to the UK without her cats. She then contacted an animal rights group who were able to make the arrangements to fly her cats using an international pet courier service from Turkey via Bucharest. The journey took place from October 18 to October 23. She had finally succeeded after spending £14,000.
She said: “I absolutely love animals. They are my passion. I know that I spent that money and I don’t make a lot of money. I’m only a hairdresser but it made me feel like I had done something worthwhile.”
You have. It is symbolic of how all humans should relate to animals. You are a beautiful soul. I think you will be rewarded. And when you love animals that much you can’t leave them to suffer. Well done.
P.S. Life is difficult for a person who cares that much about animals because humankind has a poor track record of with respect to its relationship with animals. There is too much exploitation and abuse. There is also a lot of love and care. This story is a premier example.
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