Hundreds of animal shelters, veterinary clinics, and rescue centers, as well as thousands of families with pets who remain in Ukraine, are struggling to find food for the animals in their care. Providing veterinary care for injured or sick animals is increasingly challenging as supplies are at risk of running out.
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 will, for the first time ever, add life-saving aid for animals to its humanitarian aid transport. Humane Society International has donated the first ton of pet food to the Romanian Red Cross, which the agency will take into Ukraine and distribute according to need.
“In times like these, we know that not only people, but also animals need help. We are happy and honored to have Humane Society International on our side, making sure that much needed pet food will also reach Ukraine with our convoys,” Raluca Morar, Executive Director of the Romanian Red Cross Sibiu county, said in a statement. “The first ton of dry pet food has reached our loading point in Sibiu, and will be delivered to Ukraine within the next days.”
“As this conflict continues, people and animals in Ukraine are suffering alongside each other, particularly in those animal shelters and homes where leaving animals behind has simply been an impossible decision to make. We are grateful that the Romanian Red Cross has recognized that the plight of animals in war is inextricably bound up with the plight of the people who live with them and care so deeply about their welfare,” stated HSI/Europe’s Romania Director, Andreea Roseti, who noted that the first ton of emergency pet supplies sent will be the first of many. “There are large numbers of pet dogs and cats roaming the streets who have become separated from their families. They are bewildered, traumatized, and in need of help.”
HSI is also working with other local animal welfare groups in Germany, Italy, and Poland to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict with their beloved pets by providing emergency supplies at refugee reception points.
In Germany, HSI is working with animal welfare group Berliner Tiertafel to provide pet food and veterinary treatment. All over Berlin, more than 30 vets are already supporting the project to provide aid to refugees and their pets, so that the animals receive urgent veterinary treatments alongside necessary vaccinations and microchips.
“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is of course a devastating humanitarian crisis, but the beloved dogs, cats, and other animals of those fleeing Ukraine are very much part of that refugee story,” shared HSI’s Germany Director, Sylvie Kremerskothen Gleason. “We have heard from refugees we are helping in Berlin that the loyal companionship of their pets has kept them and their families going on the arduous journey to safety. For children especially, their pets are an enormous source of comfort to help them cope with the trauma of war. These refugees are frightened and exhausted, so being able to help them care for their pets means they have one less thing to worry about at a time when they need help the most.”
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