A university graduate has crowdfunded £2,500 in just three days to rescue a flea-ridden stray dog that befriended her at a £300-a-night luxury resort in Mauritius.
Tabitha Nash, 24, jetted out to the paradise isle to celebrate completing her Graphic Communications degree at Bath Spa University.
She was relaxing by the pool at the Ambre Resort & Spa when the white mongrel came bounding over wagging its tail.
They took the mutt in, allowing it to sleep in a makeshift bed in their empty suitcase and fed it dog food and tit-bits from the buffet.
She was desperate to bring the dog – which she named Bella – back to the UK so launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for flights, vaccinations and quarantine.
Tabitha Nash, 24, jetted out to the paradise isle to celebrate completing her Graphic Communications degree at Bath Spa University
They took the mutt in, allowing it to sleep in a makeshift bed in their empty suitcase and fed it dog food and tit-bits from the buffet
The appeal went viral and she smashed her £1,000 target, with £2,478 pouring in over three days.
Bella is now due to fly to her new home with Ms Nash in Bicester, Oxfordshire, in 21 days’ time.
She said: ‘I’ve never felt so in love with a dog. We went out and bought her special dog bowls and fed her real dog food twice a day in our room.
‘She also slept with us – she was flea ridden but we didn’t care.’
Bella, thought to be about 18 months old, stayed overnight on a cushion in Tabitha’s suitcase and was fed tit-bits from meals, as well as given fresh water.
Ms Nash set up a GoFundMe page on Saturday aiming to raise £1,000 to cover the cost of getting Bella vaccinated and safely home.
Ms Nash said she was ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the response to her fundraising page
‘I’ve come across many stray dogs, all the of them being seriously skinny and mistreated,’ she wrote.
‘I am so desperate to bring her back to the UK where I can give her the life she deserves, with a loving home.’
She added: ‘This little girl’s life is worth so much more. It breaks my heart to think what will happen to her once I leave.’
But her campaign raised £2,478 worth of donations in three days – far beyond her original target.
Ms Nash said she was ‘completely overwhelmed’ by the response to her fundraising page and has promised to donate the leftover money to animal charity Paws Care & Rescue UK who have helped with getting Bella home.
She doesn’t have any pets, but she has always been a dog-lover.
‘We were going to look into saving for one next summer but Bella completely stole our heart,’ she said.
‘We love her little personality and can’t wait to have her home.’
Bella was put into quarantine yesterday and had her Rabies vaccination ahead of the long trip back to the UK in 21 days
Horrifying footage released by International Animal Rescue and PETA in 2016 showed dozens of dogs being pinned down before being given lethal injections without anaesthetic in Mauritius.
A Change.org petition calling for an end to cruel methods of killing dogs on the Indian Ocean island was signed by more than 200,000 people soon after.
Bella was put into quarantine yesterday and had her Rabies vaccination ahead of the long trip back to the UK in 21 days.