‘I wish they were here with me’: Woman fights to get dogs shipped to Virginia from China

Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:14 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Richmond woman says she had to drop everything in China to fly back to Virginia when the coronavirus pandemic began.

D’Anne Graham said she not only left behind her belongings but also her two puppies.

“I was like, why? Virginia only shut down three weeks ago and then I remembered this started for me in January, and I left everything behind,” Graham said.

Graham has been on an emotional roller coaster since January. She was teaching spoken English at a university in Chengde, China when she decided to take a small trip.

“I flew from Beijing to Hanoi. I was in Vietnam for about two weeks and during that time things had exploded,” Graham said.

Graham didn’t know that would be the last time she would see her home in China.

“My university said they did not want me to return and they would be flying me back home to Virginia,” Graham said.

This all happened because of COVID-19.

“I left my computer, my hard drive, the books and research for a book I’m working on,” Graham said.

Those items don’t amount to what was truly left.

“I had to leave my two baby girls. I rescued them a year ago and I was planning to bring them back with me,” Graham said.

The two dogs Gracie, named after Graham’s grandmother, and Maggie, named after a childhood dog, couldn’t make the flight back to America.

“The rescues in China are full of dogs and cats from people like me who had to leave them behind and had to evacuate quickly,” Graham said.

The dogs were able to stay with a friend for a little bit but Graham moved them to Beijing for better chances of being shipped to be with her.

“It’s been very stressful. It’s stressful to have all of my inanimate things left behind but my living dogs. We need a win this year and that would be a win,” Graham said.

The shelter where the dogs are sends videos each day but the fight continues to bring Gracie and Maggie home.

“I’ve tried several rescues and that hasn’t worked, and the only thing to do is to ship them by cargo which unfortunately is very expensive,” Graham said.

Graham is looking at about $7,000 to bring them home, and after several disappointments, Graham hopes she can have them with her soon.

“They are my babies. I want them home, here with me, in Richmond,” Graham said.

Graham has set up a GoFundMe to raise money to bring the dogs home. Click here to help.

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