This is Kai, a 2 or 3-year-old Shar-Pei found tied to a railing outside a train station in Ayr, Scotland in January. Kai even had a suitcase containing all his belongings: a pillow, a toy, food, and a bowl. He just didn’t seem to have an owner.
The Scottish SPCA was able to use Kai’s microchip to track down his original owner, who said they sold Kai to someone else on Gumtree (a website like Craiglist) in 2013. At the time, the SPCA said, “This case highlights the potential consequences of selling an animal online as it often leads to the impulse buying of pets that people know very little about.”
They called the incident “cruel” and set out to find out who was responsible.
And eventually they did: A woman named Fin Rayner, 39, from Aberdeen said that she’d agreed to pay £400 for the dog, advertized as “Pluto,” on Gumtree. “I went to buy a dog but the dog was not the same as the picture advertised,” she told The Daily Record.
“The guy rushed out with a food chest and lead on the dog,” she recalled. “But I could see there was something up because he was very skinny. I said I wanted to take the dog for a walk, so he asked me for £150 as a deposit in case I didn’t come back. Then I saw him tearing off in his car. I phoned and said ‘You better come back for your dog’. He never turned up.”
Rayner says she panicked when she and her 9-year-old daughter had to catch their return train and tied Kai up, but also claims to have alerted staff to “ensure the dog was safe.”
Kai has spent a month without a home, though the SPCA has made sure he has lots of love and plenty of toys to keep him occupied. Now, all’s well that ends well: Kai has a forever home.
After hearing his story, hundreds of people offered to take Kai, but the SPCA chose Ian Russell of East Renfrewshire. “It feels like fate,” Ian says. “I'm over the moon and very shocked that I was chosen out of everyone who wanted him.”
And it seems like it wasn’t just Kai who needed Ian: "My Dalmatian named Mica passed away just before Christmas and I was left heartbroken,” he explained. “I had her for 15 years and she was the apple of my eye. We pretty much spent 24 hours a day together. When I heard about Kai...I called the Scottish SPCA just to check he was okay and see if there was anything I could do to help. Fast forward a few weeks and here I am taking him home. I honestly think it was meant to be.”
Meanwhile, here’s what goes on behind the scenes at the world famous Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: