Aid for the Animals of Ukraine
Our Animal Rescue Team and country office staff are on the ground in Europe, helping Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict with their beloved pets by providing funding and supplies such as pet food, collars, leads, toys, treats and water bowls, as well as veterinary care. Please donate to support our emergency response for Ukraine and other lifesaving efforts worldwide.
Are you a veterinarian based in the European Union? Please visit Vets for Ukrainian Pets to learn about how you can help, and how your assistance to the pets of Ukrainian refugees may be reimbursed through our program.
Are you from Ukraine and have a pet in need of help? Get more details here.
Giovanni Tesei Photography
May 9, 2022:
HSI/Europe is urging travel companies to provide safe, pet-friendly passage for Ukrainian refugees traveling with their animals, to avoid cats, dogs and others being abandoned at bus or airplane terminals due to being refused travel. Read more.
April 28, 2022:
A beloved cat reuniting with his family and other small victories give us hope as the war in Ukraine rages on. Read more.
April 15, 2022:
Ukrainian refugees who have fled the war with their pets can access free veterinary treatment in countries across Europe until May 21, 2022 thanks to Vets for Ukrainian Pets. Learn more.
April 5, 2022:
Loris, along with his family, escaped from Kyiv, Ukraine to Trieste, Italy. Thanks to our supporters, HSI was able to provide Loris with food and pet supplies, including a new coat. Read more.
April 4, 2022:
HSI and and veterinary associations in 38 European countries launched Vets for Ukrainian Pets, free veterinary care across Europe for pets of Ukrainian refugees. Read more.
March 30, 2022:
HSI’s disaster relief team from Poland, Mexico and the U.S. have been distributing emergency supplies to refugees arriving with cats and dogs at Polish/Ukraine border reception points. HSI met with refugees and their animals in Medyka, Hrebenne Tomaszow Lubelski, Lubycza Krolewka, Przemysl, and Kroscienko-Smolnicawho. We also provided animal aid to Polish partner group BOOZ.
Dumitru Dragos for HSI
March 15, 2022:
In recognition of the clear desire of people in Ukraine to care for the animals caught up alongside them in the war, the Romanian Red Cross and HSI launched an unprecedented agreement to get vital pet food and veterinary supplies into Ukraine. Read more.
March 7, 2022:
While HSI worked with local groups to provide a welcome lifeline for animal victims who made it to safety, those helping feared a worsening animal welfare crisis to come inside Ukraine. Read more.
February 25, 2022:
In a “precedent-setting,” compassionate decision, the European Commission advised all EU Member States to relax veterinary paperwork requirements for the dogs, cats and other companion animals traveling with refugees seeking safe passage in EU Member States. Read more.
How are animals being affected by the war in Ukraine and how is HSI helping the animals in the impacted areas?
The war in Ukraine is impacting millions of people. Many have lost their lives to the violence; many more have fled the country, moved to safer locations within Ukraine, sought safety underground or remain blocked in their place of residence. During this conflict, huge numbers of animals are also being directly impacted.
Humane Society International has been able to respond immediately to support both people and animals affected by this crisis, by working with groups in Ukraine, as well as in Germany, Italy, Romania and Poland, where refugees are arriving with their pets. In Germany, for example, HSI has teamed up with Berliner Tiertafel to help refugees who arrive with their animals in Berlin and will soon expand to other cities. We are also engaging with animal organizations in countries neighboring Ukraine, such as Poland and Romania, to see how best we can support them as they assist refugees with their pets. These groups want to provide needed food, pet carriers, medicines and other pet supplies, so we are looking at how best HSI support can be deployed.
While we’ve seen unprecedented numbers of pets evacuating with their owners out of Ukraine, there are still some animals unfortunately left behind, surrendered to shelters or simply released in the streets, where they have to fend for themselves. Some are also being left at the border. There are also hundreds of animal shelters, rescues, and veterinary clinics throughout the country that have been unable to evacuate.
Thousands of wild and exotic animals are kept across Ukraine in zoos, wildlife rescues and sanctuaries, private ownership and in the entertainment industry. Most animals in zoos and sanctuaries are still being cared for by the staff, but many are facing extreme challenges of direct violence or being cut off from necessary supplies. The number and nature of these animals makes the logistics of evacuation extremely challenging and often impossible. There are also hundreds of exotic pet animals (such as wild cats) trapped in apartments and other residencies throughout Ukraine, whose fate remains unknown. It is extremely challenging to satisfy the complex needs of these animals even in peacetime, but their safety and welfare is especially precarious now that they are trapped in a war zone, and that is of grave concern. HSI is providing emergency financial aid to the biggest animal welfare group in Ukraine, UAnimals, which distributes aid to animal shelters, rescues and families caring for companion animals, in addition to helping animals in zoos, sanctuaries, veterinary clinics and other situations.
Why is it important to provide aid to animals when so many people are suffering?
During any conflict situation, the immediate focus will understandably be on human casualties, but we must not forget that animals can also become victims, suffering injury, loss of life or being left to fend for themselves during evacuations. Human and animal lives are often tightly linked. Many people are fleeing with their pets in tow because they are beloved family members. Leaving pets behind to starve or be injured in the conflict is understandably an impossible decision for many, and we have heard from the refugees we’re helping that the loyal companionship of their pets has kept them and their families going on the arduous journey to safety. For children especially, their companion animals are an enormous source of comfort to help them cope with the trauma of war. Many people are also risking their lives to stay behind to save animals, or who are trapped without an avenue to evacuate, who need assistance.
Where is HSI working?
HSI does not have operations in Ukraine, but we are providing emergency financial aid directly to the biggest animal welfare group in the country, UAnimals. HSI also has personnel in countries bordering Ukraine and across the European Union who have been gathering supplies to send to the border and providing assistance to refugees arriving with their pets. Working alongside local animal welfare groups in countries such as Germany and Poland, and supporting those operating at the Polish-Ukrainian and Romanian-Ukrainian border, we are helping to distribute pet food and pet supplies.
Are the refugees who flee Ukraine with their pets facing any difficulties entering the EU?
Shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, the European Commission advised member states to ease the standard requirements for pet entry into the EU listed in Regulation (EU) 576/2013. Many of these countries have followed the recommendation. HSI welcomes the European Commission’s and Member States’ recognition that people fleeing the conflict care deeply about their companion animals as beloved members of their family and want to keep them safe. This is a precedent that we very much hope will be replicated around the world during similar conflict situations.
I would like to support HSI by donating pet food and supplies.
If you live in the EU, our offices in Germany, Italy, Poland and Romania accept in-country donations in kind and would be happy to get your support. Please contact our European office at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to that, you can support our work in Ukraine and in other emergencies by making a financial donation here . We only accept donated goods within those countries where we are able to directly provide aid to refugees and their pets.
We are not accepting donations of goods from outside the EU, as it would be too inefficient to ship them over to Europe given the costs and time involved, and the specific supplies needed are changing on a daily and even hourly basis.
I live in the EU and would like to volunteer to support Ukrainian refugees and animals.
If you live in Germany, Italy, Poland or Romania and would like to help those coming from Ukraine with pets and seeking shelter, please contact our local offices there via email@example.com. If you live in another European country, please contact the animal welfare organizations that are nearest to you.
I live in the UK and would like to support HSI by donating pet food and supplies.
At this point we do not accept donations in kind for Ukraine, as it would be too inefficient to ship them over to Europe given the costs and time involved, and the specific supplies needed are changing on a daily and even hourly basis. It makes most sense for our HSI teams to obtain the supplies locally. You could support our efforts by making a donation here.
I am a veterinarian and would like to volunteer my services to help HSI / animals in Ukraine.
Thank you for your interest in lending your veterinary expertise to help the animals of Ukraine. Throughout this crisis, we’ve seen an outpouring of support from national and regional veterinary associations throughout Europe, and local practitioners in the countries affected by the arrival of refugees and their animals. As such, local veterinary capacity is currently sufficient to ensure evacuated animals are receiving necessary care. As a result, we understand that the relevant veterinary authorities will not be issuing any veterinary licensure waivers or temporary licenses to practice. We suggest checking Vets for Ukraine if you are interested in helping in other ways.
I want to help and need to know which groups to support.
HSI is very grateful for any donations to help our relief work. If you would like to donate to an animal welfare organization inside Ukraine, we recommend UAnimals, which HSI is also supporting.