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Mission Pawsible: stranded pets reunited with owners under new arrangement

Beloved pets of Aussie families will be reunited with their owners under a new arrangement announced by the Australian Government with Qantas Airways.

An announcement welcomed by pet owner, Kate McQuestin who has been campaigning for pragmatism and compassion to allow the pets to arrive through other ports when there is no option for them to fly directly into Melbourne.

“Our dreams have come true!” said McQuestin.  “I am beyond thrilled that our dog Yuki and many other beloved animals stranded overseas will be reunited with their families under this new arrangement.”

“At last, when my kids ask ‘when will we see Yuki again?’ I can finally answer and to say they are overjoyed is a massive understatement.”

When COVID-19 hit, thousands of families returned to Australia upon Government advice. Prior to this announcement, their furry family members had been unable to return because they can not land directly into Melbourne where Australia’s only quarantine facility is located and remained stranded overseas for months – despite owners paying thousands of dollars for the necessary vet checks, Australian Government permits and transport vendors.

McQuestin built a website highlighting the issue many families were facing and a petition pleading for Government action, which received more than 12,000 signatures of support.

“It really was a community effort with many people working together to bring our pets home by helping highlight the issue we were facing and taking the time to show their support.“

“The pragmatism and compassion shown by Minister Littleproud and the Department of Agriculture on this issue is also really appreciated. I thank them for their work in setting up this temporary arrangement with Qantas Airways.”

“I would particularly like to thank Nick McGlynn and the Qantas Freight team for going above and beyond to make this a reality. They have worked tirelessly with various Government departments to ensure pets are brought home safely and the arrangement complies with Australia’s biosecurity requirements.”

“It’s really what you do when no one is watching that matters. And what Qantas and others did behind the scenes means the world to my family and will to hundreds of other families when they’re reunited under this new arrangement.”

“I would also like to thank the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack and Ben Franklin MLC for the roles they played in bringing this new arrangement to effect and reuniting cats and dogs with their families.”

“It’s an unprecedented and difficult time for the aviation industry and Government departments, placing the individuals within them under immense pressure.”

“I really just want to show my appreciation to all those involved from the bottom of my heart for going the extra mile, listening to our calls for help, overcoming the obstacles COVID-19 presents and acting to put these new measures in place.”

“Because they did and the community got behind our mission – many pets no longer face an uncertain future and will return to the loving arms of families across Australia. Making what was mission impawsible, now mission pawsible,” said McQuestin.