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Dog rescued from British Virgin Islands by Suffolk police officer reunited with him after 4,000 mile journey

PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 December 2017

Buddy shows affection towards new owner PC Jon Harvey. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Buddy shows affection towards new owner PC Jon Harvey. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A Suffolk police officer who was one of two from the county to help with relief efforts at the hurricane-struck British Virgin Island of Tortola in September has been reunited after two months with the dog he rescued there.

PC Jon Harvey, who was one of two Suffolk police officers to go to the British Virgin Islands to help the relief efforts out there, has brought home the dog he rescued. Picture: GREGG BROWN PC Jon Harvey, who was one of two Suffolk police officers to go to the British Virgin Islands to help the relief efforts out there, has brought home the dog he rescued. Picture: GREGG BROWN

PC Jon Harvey was joined by PC Pete French as part of a contingent of 53 officers from the south east tasked with aiding relief efforts after Hurricane Irma struck the island.

On one job guarding aid supplies a stray dog found the two officers, and instantly struck a bond with PC Harvey.

Buddy the stray dog in Tortola. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY Buddy the stray dog in Tortola. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

He fed the stray, who he affectionately named Buddy, a cold ration pack, and got him checked over by a vet.

“I calmed him down and when he put his paws round me and his head in my lap I knew he didn’t want me to leave,” Jon said.

Suffolk police officers Jon Harvey (left) and Peter French have returned from work in the British Virgin Islands to help victims of the hurricanes. Picture: GREGG BROWN Suffolk police officers Jon Harvey (left) and Peter French have returned from work in the British Virgin Islands to help victims of the hurricanes. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“I knew then he was coming home.”

Checking that Buddy was not on the missing animals list, microchipped or living with another owner, the process began to bring Buddy back to the UK, thanks to help from vets, a family the two officers helped and the Humane Society International.

PC Jon Harvey (left) and PC Pete French with the stray dog Buddy in Tortola. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY PC Jon Harvey (left) and PC Pete French with the stray dog Buddy in Tortola. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

The labrador cross, believed to be aged around two or three, was sent to a vet in Washington DC, where the Humane Society International is based, and served his quarantine there.

Buddy was flown to Heathrow by Virgin Atlantic for free, and on Friday, November 17 was reunited with PC Harvey at the airport more than 4,200 miles away.

Buddy shows affection towards new owner PC Jon Harvey. Picture: GREGG BROWN Buddy shows affection towards new owner PC Jon Harvey. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“He came through the reception centre doors and was pulling towards the front doors, but he saw me and came back, his tail was going, licking me and hugging me,” PC Harvey said.

“He’s as good as gold – he sleeps right through the night, eats well and doesn’t bark – he is a lovely lad.

“I wouldn’t be without him now. I would never have expected to go over there and come back with a dog but I wouldn’t change anything and I wouldn’t be without him now.”

Buddy had very red paws and some marks on his legs either from a fungal infection or insect bites, but thanks to treatment and a bit of food by vets in Washington, was soon back to his energetic self.

PC Harvey added: “It surprised me how close a bond we have already – he seems really happy and I hope he realises he has got a better life than he did on the streets.”

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