NEWS

Syrian Refugee Teen Couldn't Leave His Puppy Behind

09/23/2015 03:28 EDT | Updated 10/08/2015 02:59 EDT

When 17-year-old Aslan was forced to flee war-torn Syria, he knew he couldn’t leave his furry friend behind.

He carried his puppy, Rose, for roughly 500 kilometres before arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos, he told the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) in video posted to Facebook.

“I love this dog,” he said. “I need him.”

Aslan, who is from Damascus, was told he couldn’t take Rose across the Mediterranean, but he refused to leave him. The pup even has his own passport.

More than 430,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean in unstable boats this year to try to reach Europe, according to Reuters.

The UNHCR writes that it has seen many devoted pet owners like Aslan bringing their companions with them from Syria.

"When forced to flee home because of war, many people would never dream of leaving their pets behind."

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