By Adam Lee-Smith
Published: 04/04/2022, edited: 04/06/2022
From Lviv to Mariupol, the Russia-Ukraine war has displaced millions of people. As Ukrainians fight fiercely to defend their homeland, others are desperate to flee the country.
While many countries west of Ukraine are opening their borders to Ukrainian refugees, pets have a tougher time escaping the conflict. Many pets face being turned away at borders due to problems with paperwork, and many displaced pet parents struggle to afford veterinary care or find pet-friendly accommodation.
Pets provide essential emotional support to many Ukrainian refugees who've lost everything due to the Russian invasion. If you're looking for ways to help animals in need, read on to learn about organizations helping pets in the Russia-Ukraine war.
Polish pet sitting service Petsitters.pl is raising money through CharityStars to provide temporary and permanent housing, veterinary care, and food for 10,000 families and their pets. Petsitters.pl has already secured places for families in France, Germany, and the UK.
Each family costs roughly $50 to help. There are no restrictions on traveling with pets across the Polish-Ukrainian border, so letting others know about this route away from the conflict is important.
Wag! is proud to support Petsitters’ efforts with a $5,000 donation. If you're unable to donate but would like to help however you can, please consider sharing Petsitters’ fundraiser or Instagram page to help raise awareness.
Wag!'s partner Greater Good Charities (GGC) has been supporting Ukrainians and their pets since the start of the invasion. In addition to sending team members to Poland and Romania to provide aid, GGC is also collaborating with other organizations on the ground to distribute supplies.
One of those organizations is Save the Dogs and other Animals, which is working to transport pet food to the Romanian-Ukrainian border. With GGC's help, Save the Dogs and other Animals has set up 2 large tents on the Romanian-Ukrainian border, which can hold up to 60 tons of pet food.
The grant for U-Hearts will help deliver food and aid to a network of 1,000 pet shelters across Ukraine.
The Tiernothilfe Ukraine e.V. grant will pay for more gas and crates to ship pets out of Ukraine.
The Street Dog Coalition grant is helping to fund a station on the Romanian-Ukrainian border, supplying pets with passports and veterinary care.
If you’re able, please consider donating to GGC’s Ukraine fund. All donations up to $25,000 will be matched by anonymous donors.
Another organization helping Ukrainians at the Polish border is International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). Since the war began, over 2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled to Poland, some of whom plan to move on and join family members in other countries.
IFAW is helping pets of Ukrainian refugees meet the entry requirements of other countries by securing the correct paperwork, including proof of vaccinations and microchipping. The organization is also helping Ukrainians in finding temporary pet-friendly accommodation in Poland. To help spread awareness, please consider sharing IFAW’s list of resources for Ukrainian refugees and their pets on social media.
IFAW is also assisting zoo animals. IFAW partnered with Poznań Zoo in Poland to help evacuate a convoy of exotic animals, which included tigers and lions, from Ukraine's capital, Kyiv. Despite coming under fire and being surrounded by Russian tanks, the convoy safely made the over 300-mile journey to the Polish border.
Humane Society International (HSI)
is partnering with charities and organizations across Europe to care
for pets in Ukraine. HSI has received support from major corporations,
with Mars, Incorporated donating $1 million.
HSI recently partnered with the Romanian Red Cross to transport over a ton of pet food into Ukraine. In Germany, HSI has teamed up with the animal welfare group Berliner Tiertafel at a dedicated aid station in Berlin to send out care packages and provide veterinary treatment and medication for the pets of Ukrainian refugees.
HSI is also assisting organizations based in Ukraine. Kyiv-based UAnimals provides aid to all Ukrainian animals, from zoo kangaroos to household cats. HSI is providing funding for UAnimals to help mitigate the animal welfare crisis in Ukraine.
Non-profit United Animal Rescue primarily assists animals in Brazil, but the organization is also fundraising for pets in Ukraine. United Animal Rescue is partnering with Priyut Lyubimaia Dvorniaga, an animal shelter in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.
United Animal Rescue recently helped rescue 40 dogs from
Kharkiv and is helping build new kennels and provide food for Priyut
United Animal Rescue has set up a fundraiser through Cuddly.com. The campaign has raised over $35,000 of its $70,000 goal to provide shelter for abandoned and stray dogs in Ukraine.
To find out more ways to help pets in Ukraine, check out these organizations and fundraisers:
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