Ukraine's current state is dreadful. Who could have predicted that we'd be living such hard times? We only learned about wars while we were in school. By then, we could only picture the horrific atrocities that occurred during both World Wars. But now, we see this horrible scenario happening in 2022, Ukraine - hurt and also dead people of all ages and animals, innocent civilians leaving their homes.
Huge numbers of Ukrainians are leaving their country, and many are refusing to leave without their companions. Photos with individuals and their pets have circulated on social media when attempting risky border crossings or huddling in underground bunkers and subways.
Ukrainians fleeing with their pets 🐾 pic.twitter.com/hdTSPQAcNh— Deborah Von Brod (@DeborahVonBrod) February 24, 2022
Unfortunately, there are numerous animals in Ukraine that require food, medication, and care. In the face of military strikes, brave volunteers and shelter staff are remaining behind to care for these homeless animals.
What happens with pets and stray animals from Ukraine during the war?
Ukraine has approximately 50,000 stray animals on its streets. Many shelters across the country seek to rescue, and transport animals for adoption.
In critical situations, it's impossible not to feel vulnerable, but there are methods to assist Ukrainian pets and their families, as well as shelter animals with nowhere else to go.
The roads were jammed with traffic that extended for kilometers for those fleeing the capital of Kyiv by car. Those on foot ran to nearby subway stations and bus stops, carrying their pets in cages.
The current regulations for bringing companion animals into the EU and the UK are impossible for refugees to follow in a state of war. They require that animals such as dogs and cats be vaccinated and microchipped and have a negative blood test for rabies – and many animals don’t meet the criteria.
PETA UK is receiving information about the process at Ukraine’s borders, and mercifully, there is an increasing number of reports that Hungary, Poland, and Romania are making the entry for animals less bureaucratic.
Here are several groups that need your help for Ukraine's animals.
How to help: Donate
This non-profit organization helps shelter animals in Ukraine and advocates for the humane treatment of stray animals.
“According to our data, all animals are alive and there is food for the next few days. The biggest problem is that no delivery service is currently able to deliver the necessary food and groceries to the shelters. And also in the absence of fuel for vehicles and the possibility in some regions to withdraw cash or calculate a grocery card”, according to their post on Facebook.
Help Happy Paw, by making a donation:
This Romanian non-profit organization has been fighting for animals since 2016, and is now enrolled at the borders to ensure that no family crossing from Ukraine must leave their beloved pet behind.
"Casa lui Patrocle Association of Suceava officially announces its support and assistance to the Ukrainian families entering Romania through Siret border crossing point accompanied by animals, REGARDLESS OF THEIR SPECIES. You can find us in Suceava, 40 km from the Ukrainian border. We will use our best efforts to find accommodation, shelter, or veterinary care for the animals in need of support, and we repeat – regardless of their species (dogs, cats, horses, bulls, cattle, poultry). Authorities’ priority is now to guarantee people's safety. But, in line with our field of activity, which is the protection of non-human species, we also prioritize the fate of the collateral victims, the animals in need of support".
Help Casa lui Patrocle, by making a donation:
UAnimals is raising donations to help animal shelters that have run out of food and supplies as a result of the Russian invasion. So far, they have delivered help to an increasing number of Ukrainian shelters, including Give A Paw, Chance for Life, Pif, and Sirius.
To help UAnimals, make a donation:
This Ukrainian animal rescue and farm shelter is preparing a wartime food stockpile for its hundreds of animals and is now having problems transferring supplies due to the bombardment. You may support Shelter Ugolyok by donating via PayPal (firstname.lastname@example.org), Venmo (pawsofhelp), Fundrazr, or Patreon.
"Our @eastern.sanctuary making its preparation, too. Bringing in more supplies. The most difficult part is transportation. It gets more dangerous and expensive. Food supplies getting also more expensive. Good that our suppliers still continue to help us cause most of all markets, banks, stores, etc. are closed. Our suppliers come to work only because we ask them.
All sanctuaries continue its work in the usual way only walking time became less cause no one knows when anything dangerous might happen."
Sirius has been caring for stray animals in Kyiv and its surrounding areas for over 20 years. They need all the help they can get as one of Ukraine's largest animal sanctuaries.
“We are in place. We are not going to run! We must believe in our country and our defenders!” - from a recent Instagram post.
Other Countries implications
Citizens from Czechoslovakia are providing space for pups and little dogs, such as paddocks and kennels with beds, as well as isolation and birth rooms.
It is also believed that the Estonian Veterinary Department is supporting refugees with Ukrainian animals. Animals will be permitted to cross the border without the necessity for microchips, vaccines, passports, or medical examinations. Each owner is required to register their pet with the Veterinary Department.
Meanwhile, animal enthusiasts in Ukraine rush to protect their beloved pets, transporting them to safe-haven countries across the border.
As mentioned, the neighboring countries of Romania, Poland, and Slovakia are all allowing fleeing Ukrainians to bring their beloved animals across borders without vet paperwork.
Safe heaven emergency - UPDATES:
"UPDATE: More countries have eased entry regulations for humans and their companion animals seeking refuge from Ukraine 💛💙
Terrified animals must not be left behind to suffer agonizing deaths—learn the details and call on the rest of the EU and the UK to relax their rules for companion animals", according to PETA.org.uk.
In a state of war, the current restrictions for importing companion animals into the EU and the UK are impossible for refugees to comply. They demand that dogs and cats be vaccinated, microchipped, and have a rabies titre test. Many animals do not fulfill these requirements.
While the EU and several other countries have relaxed border regulations for furry friends, the United Kingdom has not. PETA UK is calling the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to act quickly to relax entry rules so that Ukrainian refugees can bring their animals with them.
Thankfully, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Germany have all made animal entrance less tedious. Many other countries are doing the same thing to allow Ukrainian refugees to travel with their pets.
Donate to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund:
PETA Germany update, 05 March 2022:
PETA Germany is preparing for its next rescue mission, and animals who crossed the border successfully are being cared for and healed in a veterinary clinic.
"We are calling on people in Ukraine not to leave their animal companions behind. There is help available at the border". Please pass this life-saving information (in Ukrainian) to your Ukrainian friends:
Images of current situations of animals from Ukraine
Pets in Ukraine are also suffering the ravages of military attacks. Well, the inhabitants of the different cities take their dogs and cats with them to keep them safe 🐶🐱😻 pic.twitter.com/BpSLBywDP5— MEY_DOG RESCUE (@mey_dog) February 25, 2022
I highly advise everyone not to abandon your pets. Companion animals, like humans escaping a war, will be terrified and stressed, and rely on their human protectors for protection.
For many more updates you can enter on PETA's official website.
Like many of you, I'm praying for Ukraine! 🙏🏻
In these hard times, we could only pray for people and for us, too. Health and safety, love, and caring are all that matter now. Hope all this nightmare will end soon!
Frequently asked questions
Who is helping the animals in Ukraine?
Shelters, rescue groups, and veterinary clinics in Ukraine are working hard to keep their operations running in the midst of the fighting, making every attempt to give safety and immediate care to animals wrapped up in the conflict. Also, rescue workers and organizations from the near countries are now doing everything they can to facilitate urgent entrance into neighboring countries for Ukrainians with pets.
Can I offer a home to a family and their pets?
Of course! Contact your local authorities or volunteer organizations to make this good, and they should be able to assist.