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People Fleeing Ukraine Cling To Their Beloved Pets Amid War

Written by: Molly Weinfurter
Molly Weinfurter is a writer for iHeartDogs, and she’s passionate about helping animals in need. She volunteers for Bailing Out Benji and a local dog rescue.Read more
| Published on February 28, 2022

Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing Ukraine after Russian troops invaded. No one should have to experience a heartbreaking situation like this, but even in the toughest of times, the victims refuse to leave any loved ones behind. That includes their beloved pets.

Many photos have appeared on social media showing Ukrainians holding their pets close as they evacuate. This includes dogs, cats, and even fish! Luckily, many people are supporting the Ukrainians’ dedication to their furry friends. Countries are helping them get pets to safety while people are donating to keep animals safe. Even in the most difficult times, no family members get left behind.

Dog in Ukraine

Helping Humans and Animals to Safety

Clean Futures Fund is a Missouri-based organization that provides international support after industrial accidents and long-term remedial activities. They were forced to suspend operations at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant amid the Russian invasion. So, they’re unable to support power plant workers.

This organization also had a Dogs of Chernobyl program to provide food, veterinary care, and spay/neuter procedures to stray dogs and cats. Their efforts have helped reduce the area’s wild dog population by 50%. But right now, there’s nothing they can do to protect the canines in Ukraine.

Ukrainians fleeing with dog

Even without the help of major organizations, pet parents in Ukraine are doing everything they can to support each other. Many people are taking their pets with them as they evacuate. Photos have been posted of people holding dogs, cats, pet carriers, and fish tanks during the war.

Luckily, other countries are doing everything they can to help people take pets with them. Poland, Romania, and Slovakia are letting Ukrainians bring pets across borders without requiring veterinary paperwork. These loosened travel restrictions have likely saved the lives of many pets so far.

Man with fish tank and cat carrier

How Can You Support Ukraine Pets?

While many pets are safely evacuating the country with their humans, not all pets and humans are safe yet. Many animals left behind in Ukraine are in desperate need of food and medical attention. Some volunteers and shelter employees have chosen to stay behind to care for animals in need, despite the risks involved.

Dog escaping Ukraine

Several organizations are offering support to animals in Ukraine, but they need the public’s help to function. Here are a few places you can donate to if you want to save some animals amid this horrific war:

  • UAnimals – This organization helps animal shelters that are struggling to collect food and supplies in Ukraine. Give a Paw, Chance for Life, Pif, and Sirius are just a few shelters they’re assisting.
  • Happy Paw – Happy Paw is supporting shelter animals and strays. They’re currently gathering information to find out the shelters’ biggest needs, and they’ll support them in any way possible.
  • Shelter Ugolyok – This is an animal rescue and sanctuary that’s providing food for animals in need.
  • Sirius – Sirius is a shelter in Kyiv that currently needs all the support they can get.
  • Casa lui Patrocle – Volunteers with this organization are helping find housing and veterinary care for families with pets to ensure that no animals are left behind.
  • International Animal Protection League – This animal refuge is located just outside of Kyiv, and they are still caring for hundreds of homeless animals during this time.

Many pets have already escaped Ukraine with their humans, but not everyone is safe yet. Donating and spreading the word about these organizations can help protect more people and animals. Thank you to all the wonderful people who are ensuring that pets don’t get left behind in Ukraine.

Dogs in Ukraine

Featured Image: Twitter

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