Expat couple adopts S'pore Special, spends S$1,500 to bring him from S'pore to Portugal with them

An exciting but tough trip for a puppy.

Jane Zhang | October 13, 2021, 02:16 AM

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Like many others during the Covid-19 pandemic, Claudia and Robert — a couple living in Singapore at the time — adopted a puppy.

They then found out that they would be moving back to Portugal.

Luckily for their Singapore Special puppy, Dante, he was not left to the same fate as many other "pandemic pets" who have been abandoned by their owners.

Instead, Claudia and Robert carefully trained him over the course of many months to relocate him to Portugal with them.

Dante is "one of the best things that has ever happened" to them

Claudia and Robert adopted Dante from animal welfare group Exclusively Mongrels in April 2020. 

According to their blog, Dante was born in January 2020, so he would have only been a few months old at the time.

His name is inspired by the Italian poet Dante Alighieri, who famously wrote the narrative poem "Divine Comedy", comprising "Inferno", "Purgatorio", and "Paradiso".

Adopting Dante, Claudia and Robert wrote, has "certainly been one of the best things that ever happened to us".

Photo via Facebook / Exclusively Mongrels Limited.

They acknowledged that there are difficulties that come with owning a dog which are not often talked about, including the issue of pet relocation.

The couple had to deal with the issue when they found out that they would be relocating to Portugal, but they had no doubt that they would be bringing him with them:

"Dante is family, we would never give up on him. Don’t abandon your dog when it becomes inconvenient. Be a responsible owner!"

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Oct. 12), Exclusively Mongrels thanked Claudia and Robert for being responsible adopters.

Administrative preparation

In their blog post, Claudia and Robert laid out the process that they had to go through to bring Dante to Portugal with them.

Administratively, this meant purchasing a special pet plane ticket for him, preparing his relocation documents, submitting the documents to the Lisbon airport, and more.

The couple noted that they found the Animal & Veterinary Service's (AVS') guide very helpful.

Claudia and Robert also laid out the costs involved in Dante's relocation:

  • International Air Transport Association-approved carrier and wheels (S$371.5)
  • Flight tickets (S$829.3)
  • Rabies vaccination (S$55)
  • AVS export license (S$50)
  • Health check at the veterinarian (S$60)
  • AVS health certificate with manual endorsement (S$23)
  • Vet check at the Lisbon airport (€40, or S$62.63)

Altogether, this adds up to roughly S$1,451.43 to transport Dante from Singapore to Lisbon, Portugal.

Training preparation

In addition to the administrative side of preparing for Dante's transportation to Portugal, Claudia and Robert also had to train him so that he would be able to handle the flights.

Over the course of several months, they slowly acclimatised Dante to the carrier that he would be transported in, and even introduced him to airplane noises.

On the day of the flight, the couple prepared Dante by doing things such as adding a used t-shirt to his carrier so that their scents would calm him down, giving him a light meal, and rewarding him with some small treats for his calm behaviour.

Successful relocation

After more than 20 hours, Dante arrived safely and successfully in Lisbon. The blog post read:

"He did such a good trip: he didn’t poop, pee or vomit in his carrier. He was looking perfectly fine when I saw him. Just excited to see me and get out, of course. We are so PROUD of him."

According to the blog, Dante is adjusting well to Lisbon, including to his extended family, the new weather, new time zone, new environment, and new food.

Here are some pictures and videos of him enjoying his new life in Portugal:

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dante | Dog Blog (@chroniclesofdantedog)

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dante | Dog Blog (@chroniclesofdantedog)

Top photos via Facebook / Exclusively Mongrels Limited and Instagram / chroniclesofdantedog. 

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