Australian Sailor Leaves Dog Behind in Mexico After Drifting in the Pacific for Months
Australian sailor Tim Shaddock, who drifted in the Pacific Ocean for months with his dog Bella, had to leave his loyal companion behind in Mexico. After being rescued, Shaddock has now returned to Australia.
Months at Sea
Shaddock and Bella spent three months together on a small catamaran in the Pacific Ocean. Shaddock's original plan was to sail from La Paz in Mexico to French Polynesia, but his technical equipment was damaged in a storm. The pair were unable to continue their journey, and cooking was out of the question. They survived on raw fish and collected rainwater for drinking.
Rescue and Return to Mexico
Eventually, they were rescued nearly 2000 kilometers from land by a fishing boat after being spotted by a helicopter. They were then returned to Mexico. During a press conference earlier this week upon his arrival in Mexico, Shaddock praised Bella for her bravery. However, Shaddock has now decided to leave Bella behind in Mexico, where he found her.
Bella's New Home
"Bella found me in the middle of Mexico. She is Mexican," Shaddock said of their meeting to the New York Post. "I tried three times to find her a home, but she kept following me. She is a lot braver than I am, that's for sure," said Shaddock. It seemed as if Bella had chosen her owner, not the other way around. But now, Shaddock has found a new owner for Bella: Genaro Rosales, one of the crew members of the fishing boat that rescued them. Rosales assured Shaddock that Bella would be well cared for.
The importation of pets into Australia can be a very lengthy and difficult process involving chips, vaccinations, and quarantines. Moreover, this is only possible from "approved" countries, and unfortunately, Mexico is not on that list. Thus, it would have been even more challenging to bring Bella back with him. Bella would likely have to be moved to another country, cared for there, and even then, the chances of her being able to travel to Australia would be slim.