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    The Rebel HD-2


Ukrainians Fleeing Bring Their Pets

todayMarch 14, 2022 10

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Ukrainians Fleeing Bring Their Pets

By Hannah Dunbar


As the Russia-Ukraine war continues on, more and more Ukrainians are fleeing the country and many of them are bringing their pets with them while some others have to leave their pets behind. 2.3 million Ukrainians fleeing could not leave their pets behind- cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, and even birds.


On Sunday, March 6, officials stated that more than 1.2 million refugees have fled Ukraine. According to the United Nations (U.N.), the number of refugees fleeing could swell to 4 million.


These people are fleeing Kyiv, the capital of the Ukraine, under a destroyed bridge carrying all their belongings with them along with their pets. Animal charities and shelters have also been helping these refugees bring their pets to safety.


Many other refugees have been forced to leave their pets behind at the border because they do not meet the criteria requirements imposed by the European Union: pets must be vaccinated, microchipped, and have a rabies test.


Some people are downright even refusing to leave without their pet. Pets must typically be vaccinated and microchipped to cross an international border, but some countries have agreed to an exception during this crisis. Instead, if a pet is not vaccinated or microchipped, the receiving country will vaccinate and microchip the pet upon entry.


The countries which are partaking in this are: Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, India, Germany, Italy, Finland, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Czech Republic.


Most of these refugees arrived in Poland and other neighboring European Union countries, with the bloc granting people fleeing Ukraine temporary protection and residency permits. More than 100,000 refugees have reached Slovakia, with many planning to continue to the neighboring Czech Republic that has a sizable Ukrainian community. Czech authorities are creating classes for thousands of children to be taught in their native Ukrainian.


In Italy, about 10,000 refugees have arrived, 40% of them children, with the education ministry indicating plans to get them into classrooms so they can integrate. Hundreds arrived in Berlin, the capital of Germany.


James Sawyer, who is a United Kingdom director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare is giving his assistance as well. The organization operates two animal shelters in the Ukraine with 1,100 dogs in their care, providing them with food and supplies. One of the shelters was shelled during a Russian attack, killing one of the animals.


The German branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) stated that it is currently coordinating a delivery of nearly 20 tons of companion animal food as well as blankets to animal shelters in Ukraine. They are also offering vaccinations to pets. PETA also said it is working with a partner organization in Romania who has crossed the border into Ukraine to rescue abandoned animals.


House pets are not the only animals who are suffering from this war. Zoo animals are also threatened by air raids and shelling, including those at the Kyiv Zoo where most of the heavy fighting has been taking place. The Kyiv Zoo is a home to roughly 4,000 animals including elephants, camels, and a gorilla. The chance to evacuate these animals had already passed. Zoo workers are staying behind in the face of missile strikes to care for these animals.


Numerous refugees were clutching their pets for comfort at Poland’s Shem Shield Train Station. Most of the pets looked scared and confused. Ukrainian children were also playing video games or clinging to their favorite stuffed animal.


“Dogs are a part of our souls. We cannot leave them. Unfortunately, my dog stayed at home with my mother because she didn’t want to move here,” stated one of the refugees on Inside Edition.


Bel Trew, an International correspondent for The Independent based in Beirut posted on Twitter:


“I can’t reiterate enough how welcoming & kind all the Ukrainians I have met have been. People in another random community bomb shelter in a completely different city – Khmelnytskyi – welcomed us during an air raid tonight & again families had also brought their gorgeous pets.”


It is very hard to not feel powerless in a state of crisis, but there are ways that people can help Ukrainian refugees and their pets. Here are some organizations that need donations right now to help the animals of the Ukraine:


Saved By The Vet, an organization that typically rescues, treats, and re-home abandoned dogs and cats. With the Russian invasion, they’ve been providing their support for Ukrainian refugees.


The IFAW organization which has been working with partner shelters in Donetsk and Gorlovka to provide funds for pet food, veterinary supplies and staff wages. The IFAW also provided a $50,000 grant to World Central Kitchen (WCK), an organization serving hot meals to Ukrainian refugees in Poland and in five Ukrainian cities, including Odessa and Lviv.


Animals are very important to most people and we all love our pets. It would be difficult to leave our own pets behind. The best we can do right now is support one another and make donations to these charities helping the Ukrainian citizens.

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