The Practical Pets team – myself and my husband Hans – moved from Australia to Central America (Belize) in August last year to run our Amazon seller business. We shipped our four pets – our dog Maxie and our three beloved cats: Trim, Salem and Sabrina from Australia to Belize at a cost of over AUD$15,0000.
I suppose this decision to relocate countries could be viewed as silly and whimsical, and perhaps in hindsight, it was, as our business failed and we ultimately had to return to Australia to find work and in so doing, had to surrender all four of our beloved animals.
Initially, we relocated to Palm Springs, California with a view to quarantining our pets and then ship them home to Australia. We were hopeful of making enough money there in US dollars to be able to achieve this. Unfortunately, the people who had hired us to renovate their homes only paid us $8 an hour for 800 hours work and most of that “pay” was considered “free rent” – being able to live in their house while we renovated another home. I knew then that we had to leave and to remain any longer would not only risk us overstaying our US visa but to be exploited by our so-called friends for our hard work. They had made joking references to us being “their slaves” which had a lot of truth to it. So we got in our Jeep with our dog Maxie and two cats Trim and Salem and drove to Vegas where we were going to get all three pets minded by our friend there before shipping them home.
Unfortunately that friend then changed her mind about taking our cats so I was forced to surrender them to Henderson Animal Control which, I was assured, was a ‘no-kill’ shelter. When I tearily surrendered both cats I asked staff there to have them adopted together but unfortunately the cats were adopted to separate homes. My cat Trim has a very timid personality and he took longer to be adopted. Salem has three legs and I guess she was more of a novelty and was quickly adopted.
Both Trim and Salem have been successfully re-homed but I miss both cats immensely every day. My dog Maxie is now living in Henderson, Nevada, with a friend who is very fond of him, most likely indefinitely, unless I can afford to get him back home.