Headline, November 01 2020/ ''' '' DOGS ONLINE DOTS '' ''' : STARS

''' '' DOGS. ONLINE. DOTS '' ''' : STARS

ALL ANIMALS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION NEED DOCUMENTATION to cross borders. In 2018, a cow named Penka was sentenced to death after it wandered from Bulgaria into Serbia.

ACTOR JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME has often cracked the skulls and bones of bad guys, escaped from prison to find his dying brother and rescued a woman from a gang of thugs onscreen.

AND LAST WEEK, the actor movie star helped save a puppy in real life.

Mr. Van Damme barrelled into an international kerfuffle over a Chihuahua named Raya, who was in danger of becoming euthanized because, Norwegian officials said, she had entered the country on a fake pet passport.

Mr.Van Damme's puppy crusade became a hit on social media. Apparently, amid a coronavirus pandemic that is roaring back just as many countries were tentatively emerging from various levels of lock down, it was the feel-good tough -guy-has-a-tender-side tale tale that many people craved.

Animal rights activists said that Raya's plight most likely exposed a ring of East European breeder's trafficking dogs to Western Europe.

Dog breeding in Eastern Europe is cheaper and far less regulated and animals like Raya can be claimed as purchased and vaccinated without real documentation of their origins. They are then often sold online at inflated prices.

The 3-month old puppy's ordeal began in September when she was purchased by a Norwegian man from Bulgarians who transported her to Oslo, Norway's capital. The new owner took her to to an Oslo veterinarian, who became suspicious about Raya's documentation.

Within a week, Raya was apprehended by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and placed in quarantine. After concluding that she had indeed been brought into the country on a fake passport, they informed pet owner, Alexey Iversen, that the puppy which they described as an undocumented arrival, would be put to death.

Mr. Iversen started a petition online to save the dog's life.

Somehow, the Belgian-born Mr. Van Damme - known as the ''The Muscles from Brussels'' for films like ''Missing in Action,'' ''Kickboxer'' and ''Hard Target'' - became aware of Raya's story and stepped in.

In a live video posted on Facebook one recent Sunday, a bespectacled Mr. Van Damme implored his more than 27 million followers that - and others on Instagram and Twitter - to sign the petition to save save the Chihuahua.

''We cannot kill that little Chihuahua. It's bad luck for the future. It's bad luck for Cocid-19 it's bad luck for all that stuff,'' Mr. Van Damme said in a video, while clutching his own Chihuahua.

Nearly 200,000. people reacted to the actor's Facebook video, in which Mr. Van Damme offered to pay any fees associated with saving Raya's life. Shortly afterward, the authorities told Mr. Iverson that the dog would be returned to Bulgaria.

But it is unclear whether she and Mr. Iversen will eventually be reunited. The Norwegian Food Safety  Authority could not be reached for a comment.

Yavor Gerchev, the representative for the Bulagarian office of Four Paws, an international animal welfare group that became involved in Raya's case said that hers was not a unique situation. ''It seems that this, indeed, is a very lucrative business,'' he said, adding, ''This is a serious issue for the European Union.''

Mr. Gechev said that the Bulgarian who had sold. Raya claimed she had been bred in Varna, a port city in Bulgaria known for its unregulated breeding industry. He said a veterinarian there, who has since been accused of widescale forgery of dog passports provided Raya's documents.

So, returning to the story of this cow named Penka : She too like Raya, ultimately survived thanks to another celebrity, Paul MsCartney, who promoted a petition on Twitter to save her.

The World Students Society thanks author Livia Albeck-Ribka.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Online Oscars '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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