The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created a humanitarian disaster that worsens by the day. And not only are innocent men, women, and children caught up in the brutality of war, but these Ukrainian families’ beloved pets are in danger, too.
Forced to take just what they can carry as they run for their lives, many people have found themselves and their pets at borders, hungry, thirsty, and unsure of what to do next. With more than 800,00 refugees already streaming into Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova, these countries need help getting essential supplies to Ukrainian citizens, who just a week ago were living everyday lives.
Humanitarian groups are already at work securing donations and on-scene passing out supplies. PETA is one of the many groups on the ground, making it possible for refugees and their pets to find safe passage and basic supplies. The group is also coordinating the delivery of pet food to Ukrainian animal shelters as stores are closed and supplies are running low.
Supplying Basics to the Frightened and Exhausted
When Ukrainian cat Crimsee and her mom crossed the border into Poland, Crimsee’s mom was near collapse. She had walked for more than 37 miles while carrying her cat to escape the invasion of their country. PETA Germany’s rescue team was there to help, providing the grateful pair with food and a place to rest.
“The team picked up six refugees and two cats at the Polish border and took them to a house for rest and protection,” PETA media coordinator Megan Wiltsie shared.
On the heels of helping these cats came a call requesting, “help for several weakened and terrified dogs in need of urgent care.”
These first acts of humanitarian aid were just the beginning of the river of souls needing assistance. But thanks to PETA Germany and its entities worldwide, refugees and their precious pets can rest and regroup while they figure out what comes next in these uncertain moments.
In addition to being at the Polish and Romanian borders, PETA Germany is also doing what it can to provide supplies to animal rescues and shelters inside Ukraine, where dedicated animal lovers are trying to protect the cats and dogs in their care.
“With support from PETA U.S., members of PETA Germany are coordinating the delivery of blankets and 44,000 pounds of dog and cat food to desperate animal shelters in Ukraine, as many stores there have run out.”
Calls to Ease Animal Entry Requirements
In a typical setting, traveling with pets into EU countries requires specific documentation. Still, as PETA explained, “The current regulations for bringing companion animals into the EU and the UK are impossible for refugees to follow in a state of war.”
“Animals such as dogs and cats must be vaccinated and microchipped and need an antibody titer for rabies confirmed through a serological test to enter the EU—but many of those who have been forced to flee don’t meet these requirements.”
PETA has asked the EU to suspend animal requirements at EU country borders temporarily, and the following countries have agreed to the appeal:
- Czech Republic
- The Netherlands
PETA UK is also pleading with UK officials to relax the animal travel requirements so Ukrainian refugees and their pets can find safety there, too. India has relaxed entry requirements, but quarantines are required. The regulations for traveling with animals are rapidly changing. Keep up with the latest entry requirements for Ukrainian refugees with pets with these Updates on the Situation for Animals in Ukraine.
UPDATE: More countries have eased entry regulations for Ukrainians & their companion animals seeking refuge 💛💙
— PETA (@peta) March 1, 2022
PETA’s worldwide entities are hard at work making sure Ukrainian families and their pets, as well as shelters and rescues inside the country, get the support they need in this time of crisis.
“Ukrainian refugees and their animal companions are debilitated and frightened, and they need as much support as they can get,” says PETA U.S. President Ingrid Newkirk. “From vital on-the-ground services to efforts to keep families intact, when disaster strikes—whether it’s an earthquake, flooding, fire, or war—PETA entities are united in helping survivors reach safety.”
If you want to help provide refugee pets with food, medical care, and other resources, consider donating to PETA’S GLOBAL COMPASSION FUND.
Show you stand with Ukraine and feed shelter dogs with our Peace For Ukraine Premium Tee.
Feature Image: PETA/Instagram