The 3 month old puppy ordeal began in September, when she was bought by a Norwegian from Bulgarians who transported her to Oslo, the capital of Norway. The new owner took her to a vet in Oslo, who was suspicious of Raya’s documents due to the date of her rabies vaccination. According to the passport date, she was vaccinated at 2 months old, but a dog must be at least 3 months old before she can be vaccinated.
The vet quickly informed the authorities.
Within a week, Raya was apprehended by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority and placed in quarantine. After concluding that she had indeed been brought to the country on a false passport, they informed her owner, Alexey Iversen, that the puppy, who they described as an undocumented arrival, would be put to death.
“There were several issues with the documents, and I also understand that it is also my fault, as I did not properly check the dog’s documents,” Mr Iverson wrote online. But he added that “the dog is innocent, and I think the punishment does not match the crime”.
After an unsuccessful fight with the authorities to release Raya, Mr Iversen contacted a lawyer, who managed to postpone the date of the euthanasia to October, he said. Mr Iversen has also started an online petition to save the dog’s life.
One way or another, Mr. Van Damme, of Belgian origin – known as “Les Muscles de Bruxelles” for films like “Missing in Action”, “Kickboxer” and “Hard Target” – realized Raya’s story and intervened.