Last week on February 24, Russia invaded Ukraine. The war currently impacts millions of Ukrainians who are being displaced, seeking safety in underground shelters, and fighting against Russian forces. The war also impacts animals—ranging from companion, zoo, wild, to farmed—and animal advocates located in Ukraine committed to protecting them.
At Sentient Media, we stand with Ukrainians defending their homes, lives, and democracy. We condemn all acts of violence, disinformation, and oppression. Many groups and organizations are seeking to help those in need, this article highlights some of the ways you can support humans and animals impacted by the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Groups helping refugees
Multiple countries close to Ukraine have relaxed entry requirements for Ukrainians fleeing with companion animals and are asking the public to share this information far and wide to avoid companion animals being left behind.
- Legal situation: Take a look at this post for an extensive overview of current regulations and simplified paperwork in countries across Europe. Many animal advocacy organizations are working to provide accommodation to refugees via Facebook groups such as this one.
- Accommodation: The Polish organization Fundacja Dobrych Zwierząt is encouraging people who can provide safe accommodation to Ukrainian refugees with companion animals in Romania, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, and Estonia to register via this form.
- Poland: The Polish Ministry of Agricultures has decided to welcome refugees from Ukraine with companion dogs, cats, and ferrets without health documentation. More information and documents to fill out can be found here. Refugees entering Poland can contact this Facebook group working to provide accommodation to refugees with companion animals and reach out to Polish vets for free medical assistance. The International Aid For Animals Foundation is also providing aid at the Polish border.
- Romania: In Romania, the animal organizations Casa lui Patrocle – Animal Rescue, Clubul de Excelenta Canina Patrocle Brasov, Save our Paws Association, MegaDreams Pet Taxi, Fight for Animals, and Saved by the Vet are working to help refugees with companion animals, and a hotel in Suceava is offering accommodation to them. Here is a form for refugees to fill out after entry. Refugees seeking veterinary care can reach out to Praxis Vetlife Cabinet Veterinar via phone: +40 729 109 811.
- Hungary: Refugees planning to cross the border to Hungary with companion animals can now access a simplified registration form on this website.
- Slovakia: In Slovakia, the nonprofit Zvierací ombudsman is working to help refugees with companion animals. More information and forms to be filled out can be located here.
- Germany: In Germany, Tierschutzverein München e.V. is helping refugees arriving with companion animals via plane at Munich airport. Refugees who arrive via other means of transportation or via car need to bring documentation.
Other groups to support
- Faced with dwindling supplies, animal sanctuary Shelter Ugolyok needs funds to continue caring for the farmed animals living at the shelter.
- The sanctuary Rifugio Italia KJ2 in Kyiv is run by Vlada Shalutko and her husband Italian photographer Andrea Cisternino and currently houses 400+ rescue animals, including stray and farmed animals,
- The Romanian nonprofit Casa lui Patrocle is providing help to refugee animals, regardless of their species, close to the Ukrainian border.
- The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is currently rushing emergency aid to Ukrainian animal shelters.
- Advocacy organization UAnimals helps animal shelters struggling to feed animals as food supply dwindle.
- Anima International, one of Animal Charity Evaluators’ Standout Charities 2021, works to improve the lives of farmed animals in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine.
- The Romanian organizations Pawprints to Freedom Rescue and House of Paws shelter Saima’a Rescue are offering help to Ukrainian shelters seeking foster homes.
- The organizations
- Happy Paw advocates on behalf of animals in Ukraine and provides shelter to them.
- Sirius is one of Ukraine’s largest animal shelters, caring for stray animals in Kyiv and its suburbs.