Social Media Helps Kunkush, A Lost Refugee Cat Reunite With His Family


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Photo Credit: Reunite Dias/Facebook

In November 2015, Suva Al Alaf and her five children fled the ISIS-controlled town of Mosul in Iraq and set sail aboard a small boat to Lesbos, Greece. Though the family had to leave behind almost everything they owned, the one thing they were unwilling to give up was their cat, Kunkush, who was safely tucked inside a basket.

Though all of them made it to Lesbos without incident, the commotion at the new destination made Kunkush nervous and caused him to leap out of his carrier and run away. After an extensive search showed no signs of the errant cat, Suva Al Alaf and her family had no choice but to leave for their new home without him. Kunkush did finally surface in a nearby village a few days later. However, there was no way to reunite the three-year-old with his family since the volunteers did not know where they had been relocated.

Photo Credit: Reunite Dias/Facebook

Fortunately for Kunkush and his family, refugee camp volunteers Amy Shrodes and Ashley Anderson, were not ready to give up. To try to reunite the beautiful white feline, who they named Dias (after the Greek god Zeus) with his family, they set up a "reunite Dias" Facebook page and also posted fliers throughout Lesbos. Shrodes even found a loving foster family who agreed to look after the three-year-old cat until its rightful owners could be found.

Thanks to the Facebook page, Dias became a worldwide sensation instantly and garnered the support of over 4,000 fans to help spread the word. Finally, on February 14, came the news everyone had been waiting for — Kunkush's (AKA Dias) family had been found!

Photo Credit: Reunite Dias/Facebook

It turns out that another Iraqi family saw the plea on the Facebook page and alerted Suva Al Alaf about the possibility that Dias could be Kunkush. A Skype call with Shrodes and Anderson confirmed the fact. With the help of a successful GoFundMe campaign, the volunteers were soon able to raise the over $1600 USD that was needed to pay for Kunkush's veterinarian and flight to Norway. On Thursday, February 18, Kunkush AKA Dias was finally reunited with his family. The owner says Kunkush who is enjoying Norway's white winter seems to have learned his lesson and does not stray too far away from home!


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