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How Oreo and her dad beat the odds for a fresh start in Canada

The road to Canada wasn’t easy for either Oreo or her dad. 

Oreo’s dad, a transgender man, LGTBQ activist and consultant working for women’s children’s and human rights, fled war and dictatorship in Syria.

Before he left, two of his best friends were killed: a doctor who provided medical aid to the injured, and a photographer who documented the horrors of the war – both crimes under the Syrian regime. Oreo’s dad himself helped smuggle vaccines and cancer medication into besieged areas and survived five hate-based attempts on his life before he fled. 

Oreo, a Blue Picardy Spaniel, was just 18 months old when she was dumped, pregnant, in the streets of Lebanon because she mated with a dog that wasn’t purebred. She was hit by a car and dragged herself two blocks to the parkade of an apartment building.

That’s where the two met, and a family was born. 

“I fell in love with her tender eyes,” Oreo’s dad explained. “I offered her water and food for three days and tried to search for her previous owner with no luck.”

Oreo’s dad, who was barely surviving on his own at that point, said he never planned to have a dog. But on the fourth day, he found her at his doorstep and knew he had to rescue her. He got her the medical treatment she needed, and the two have been inseparable since 2019. 

When Oreo’s dad got word he had been granted resettlement in Canada as a refugee, he was heartbroken. Officials told him they couldn’t do anything about getting her to Canada, and he was already in an economic bind. Friends stepped up to help him cover Oreo’s fees, and the two finally made it to Canada in late March.

That’s when disaster struck. Oreo became seriously ill and began vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding.

“I was heartbroken to see my companion getting sick and not able to pay for her,” her dad said. “It was hard to need to ask for help but I had to save her life in any way possible.”

That’s where you stepped in. Thanks to our donors, we were able to arrange for Oreo to see our partner clinic in Richmond, Island Veterinary Hospital. The Vancouver Humane Society contributed $500 to Oreo’s care, and your generous donations allowed us to cover the $1,600 balance. 

Oreo is still getting care, and while she’s getting better, she still needs time. 

“Oreo and I are grateful she started her medical support by the generous Paws for Hope and Vancouver Humane Society. The amazing Island Veterinary Hospital with its amazing staff were there working with Oreo,” her dad said.

“Thank you from our hearts for giving us a hand and helping us be able to be alive in Canada.”

As a small registered charity, Paws for Hope depends on the kindness of donors and partners to fund urgent veterinary care for loved animals. Every dollar goes directly towards supporting pets and the people who love them.

When you donate to Paws for Hope you aren’t just helping pets like Oreo live without pain and illness, you’re also helping keep families together. Thanks to your support Oreo’s dad, alone in a new country halfway around the world, has a chance at a new start with his best friend beside him.

On behalf of Oreo, her dad and all Paws for Hope pet families, thank you for your kindness.

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