Please help a Syrian refugee reunite with her dog

June 18, 2023



Nour is a young 19-year-old woman who has been forced to grow up far too quickly due to the ongoing war in Syria. She and her family had to flee earlier this year, leaving most of their possessions behind.

Nour and her parents are now living safely in San Luis Obispo, thanks to the good work of the local nonprofit SLO4Home. Nour intends to enroll at Cuesta College, then pursue a college degree and a career in IT. She is smart and capable, grateful to finally be away from the death and destruction in her homeland.

But a hole remains in this young woman’s heart because she was forced to leave her beloved dog Tuti behind. Tuti is a year-and-a-half-old Bichon who formed an extraordinary bond with Nour in a short amount of time.

Let me quote Nour:

I was depressed, crying all the time. I had lost passion in life. I had migraines and they were awful. Panic attacks and anxiety were constant. I started to have suicidal thoughts and my parents were very worried.

All of that started to fade away on February 1st in 2022 when my parents brought me Tuti as a supporter.

Tuti brought life back to me. She was my 24/7 supporter. She used to sit by my side all the time when I was studying as I got better.

I always imagined her saying, ‘Keep going, you can do this. I believe in you!’

Imagine the heartache that Nour felt when she had to say goodbye to Tuti. Her dream is to bring Tuti out of Syria, home to San Luis Obispo.

The good news is that such a dream is possible, thanks to an international nonprofit called Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR), dedicated to rescuing animals from war-torn areas around the world. KSAR will offer guidance and assistance in the logistics of transporting Tuti to San Luis Obispo.

There are expensive transport costs and medical tests involved in the process, but every single dollar raised will go towards safely reuniting Nour and Tuti. I have met Nour. I’ve heard the emotion in her voice when she talks about how much she misses her little dog. There is no doubt in my mind that these two are meant to be together–safe.

Several of us have decided to try and help bring Nour and Tuti together again. We have set a goal of $4,000 and have already raised more than $1200 through a Go Fund Me campaign, “Reunite Nour (Syrian Refugee) with Her Dog Tuti.” All donations, large and small, are gratefully accepted.

Let’s reunite Nour and Tuti!

Dave Congalton is a radio host on KVEC 920AM/96.FM in San Luis Obispo.

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The wonderful news to share is that nearly 100 people came together to donate and we now have more than enough money to reunite Nour and Tuti. Thanks to our media partners Karen Velie, Andy Morris, Adam Montiel and Tribune reporter Kaytlin Leslie for recognizing the strength of the human-animal bond.

Dogs are a gift from God, to improve the human condition. This is just my opinion, and my money, so I made a modest donation. Good work Dave and all involved and looking forward to a reunion.

I am grateful for the 61 people who have so far stepped forward to donate on Tutu’s behalf, thankful that they understand the mission of animal rescue, whether it’s local or international.

But I respect the opinion of those posting here who choose not to support the campaign.

So many downvotes for this and other uplifting comments? The Rice Troll Farm is alive and well!

It costs us $300 to go outside now, please don’t ask us to ship a dog from Syria.

I’d suggest the concept know as compromise, maybe adopt a local emotional support dog. There many local Syrians that might better understand her move and can better help.

That’s a legitimate point and certainly an option. But, not to be overly dramatic, the little dog remains at risk while she is in Syria. She was owned by a family of political refugees. If the authorities discover her, she’d be destroyed faster than I can type this sentence. Support for the campaign is strictly voluntary.

Find another furry friend at the animal shelters to love.