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FAQs on the Situation in Ukraine

FAQs on the Situation in Ukraine

The war is also affecting animals – how you can support 

10.5.2022

We are deeply concerned about the situation in Ukraine. We empathise with everyone in the country – humans and animals alike. An armed conflict is a danger for humans and animals, and we continue to monitor the situation with great concern. We are in contact with many organisations and other facilities homing animals, to get continuous updates about their situation.

If you would like to support our animal relief efforts, please donate so that we can ensure that the supplies that are most needed, reach those that need it the most. 

Support our work for Ukraine

Where can I donate to support BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr and our Stray Animal Care project?

Donations for BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr and our Stray Animal Care project can be made here.

How is FOUR PAWS actively supporting?

Support Stray Animals:

  • On 07. March, our AAI and SAC teams in Ukraine delivered 1.5 ton of dry dog food to Vinnytsia shelter. This will help to feed approx. 320 dogs spread between Vinnytsia shelter and another local shelter for about one month. This food delivery comes as a huge relief as both shelters were starting to run out of food and the number of dogs is, unfortunately, increasing day by day. Additional food has been purchased and is now stored until needed in this region.
  • Since beginning of April the SAC team in Ukraine has taken back some of their tasks. More and more family dogs are found on the streets. Most likely they got distressed and ran away during attacks or got lost during evacuation of their families.
  • Our Stray Animal Care team in Ukraine is currently focusing their attention on these lost pets – we rescue them, treat their injuries, vaccinate, microchip and sterilise them. These dogs would never survive on the streets, so we place them into foster homes and try to re-unite them with their owners. If this is not successful, we collaborate with local volunteers and animal welfare organisations, so that they can be placed in wonderful, new homes.
  • FOUR PAWS together with International Registration System – Animal ID and Dogs Trust Worldwide are setting up a website called Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide (UPAW) that will take donations and facilitate the distribution of dog and cat food to hundreds of shelters in war-torn Ukraine. The website is running and working as a platform where Ukrainian shelters can register and fill in information regarding their most needed requirements, mainly food and other supplies.Warehouses are being set up to store and distribute the food within Ukraine.
  • Since the first delivery on 03. March, thanks to UPAW over 1,000 requests have been processes, 300 tons of pet food has been delivered and approximately 50,000 individual dogs and cats have been reached.

Support for Pets and Owners:

  • At the beginning of the war, many people were leaving the country. Most of them bringing just what they can carry - backpacks, suitcases, and their beloved pets in their arms. FOUR PAWS’ response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis was swift, coordinating with partner organisations Fallopia in Slovakia, DoctorVet in Moldova, and Animal Society in Romania. Together, we reached over 2,500 people and their animals supplying food, pet carriers, vaccinations, medications, as well as guidance and information. With the gradual decline of refugees crossing the borders with their pets, and with the launch of the Vets for Ukraine initiative, we are starting to refocus our efforts in our organisations’ core projects.
  • Since the start of the war in Ukraine, our therapy dog Busia and her handler Natalia have been providing much-needed physical and emotional support to many families and children. Our amazing duo is based in Vinnytsia, about 300 km southeast of Kyiv, which today has become one of the main transit cities for people fleeing from places like Kharkiv and Poltava on their way to Lviv (West Ukraine), Moldova, or the European Union. When Natalia is not feeding and caring for animals at the shelter in Vinnytsia (which we donated food to last week), she is providing a place to rest and food to families arriving in the city. Some of them are bringing their pets along, and most of them have a long and exhausting journey behind them and are in dire need of assistance. While Natalia makes sure that people recharge their batteries to continue their journey, Busia does her very best to cheer them up with her sweetheart face and amazing tricks!

Support for Bears:

  • Additionally, our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr has accepted seven bears in an emergency rescue mission from wild animal sanctuary White Rock Shelter located in the Kyiv region.
  • The animals were transferred by an external transport agency because the situation got increasingly dangerous in recent days. The three female bears, two male bears and two cubs are in good health and are now being taken care of by the experienced team of the BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, who remain side by side with all the animals in their care during these difficult times.
  • Three of those bears – the two cubs, and one female Asiatic black bear - have been transferred to Germany where the organisations Stiftung für Bären and Deutscher Tierschutzbund are providing them with an appropriate for ever home.
  • On 23. March we could finally rescue former restaurant bear Vova and bring him safely to our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr.

Support for Horses:

  • 15. March: Our Romanian partner organisation ARCA was put into contact with a horse stable near Odessa concerning an emergency evacuation due to the increased level of fighting in the area. As the safety of the four horses could no longer be ensured, ARCA, with the help of a group from the Romanian equestrian society had organised a transport from the Moldovan-Ukrainian border to Romania.

Support for Zoo Animals:

  • April and May: Due to the war in Ukraine many zoos have been in a precarious situation. There is a lack of everything: food, caretakers, medication. Some zoos have been cut off from infrastructure and not received deliveries since days. We were contacted in March by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources and were requested to contribute to help deliver food and medical supplies to affected zoos in Ukraine. We organized a delivery of nearly 20 tons of animal food to Kyiv Zoo, which arrived on 7. April. The delivery mainly contained special wild animal food for elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, birds, but also dry hay, and dog and cat food to be distributed to shelters. This zoo will function as a hub to further distribute the food also to other facilities. The zoos in Ukraine are in constant contact with each other and plan the further distribution of the food.
  • A second food delivery was organised for beginning of May and has reached its destination on 9th May. Together with the help of the Austrian Federal Railways 20 tons of additional food was transported to Kyiv Zoo. Now the animal food was loaded on trucks to be transported to the Kyiv Zoo and then further within Ukraine to Kharkiv, Odessa, Mykolayiv, Cherkassy, and Mena. With this second delivery FOUR PAWS aims to bring relief to the animals and people who are caring for them in the zoos under the most difficult circumstances likewise.

Help is needed everywhere. To support the Ukrainian animals, please make a donation.

Who can I contact if I am a refugee with a pet and need help?

Please contact Vets for Ukrainian Pets

If you are in Moldova please contact our partner DoctorVet. Tel: +37361014422

Are refugees leaving pets behind?

We are aware of the extremely distressing situation in Ukraine and our hearts are broken about the immense suffering of humans and animals in these difficult times. 

Although some pet owners may have left their pets behind, we are receiving reports of an overwhelming number of refugees bring their pets with them into the EU to safety, where they are receiving food and water, transport boxes, and medical care.

Can refugees cross the border with their pets?

Yes, all European borders are open for refugees with their pets. Please find more details on our info page "Ukraine: How to Cross the Border With Pets"

Are you accepting donations-in-kind to Ukraine?

We greatly appreciate that many of our supporters are offering donations-in-kind to help animals in Ukraine. We have been working hard on finding an efficient way to collect these donations in kind and to distribute them to those who need them the most.

We are glad that with the platform UPAW we have now been able to find an efficient way to do so. Donations in kind can be sent to the Polish-Ukrainian border or Livi. Currently only palleted deliveries can be accepted due to import regulations. If you want to donate a smaller amount of food or other items, please refer to local collection points organised by many different organisations in each individual city or country. Please find out more about the procedure here: https://upaw.notion.site/How-to-make-a-delivery

Should you wish to support our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr and our Stray Animal Care projects in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries, please donate here.

What can I do to help animals in Ukraine?

Humans and animals alike are suffering greatly under the current situation in Ukraine. 

At FOUR PAWS we are putting all our energy into finding solutions to deliver active support to animals in shelters and in the streets, but logistics into and inside Ukraine are extremely challenging right now. We hope that we will soon be in a position again to actively support the efforts for animals in need in Ukraine. 

Therefore, the most effective way to provide support at this time, is through a financial donation, which we can then use to provide the supplies that are most needed, to those that need it the most.

Can I help at the borders?

Although we greatly appreciate that many supporters offer to provide help at the borders to Ukraine, we strongly discourage individuals from such initiatives. The authorities along with organisations that are trained in humanitarian aid are coordinating their efforts to help refugees – with and without pets – at all border crossings.

The most effective way to provide support at this time, is through a financial donation, which we can then use to provide the supplies that are most needed, to those that need it the most.

Can I volunteer in Ukraine and help in your bear sanctuary?

Although we greatly appreciate the fact that many of our supporters want to offer their help in Ukraine, we strongly discourage individuals from travelling into the country.

BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, which currently houses 34 rescued bears, is located in the western part of the country and although there have been air attacks reported in this part of the country as well, our colleagues and animals are currently doing well under the circumstances. We continue to take care of the bears in our sanctuary and are of course carefully considering the safety of our colleagues at the same time.

The most effective way to provide support at this time, is through a financial donation, which we can then use to provide the supplies that are most needed, to those that need it the most.

Can I volunteer in Ukraine and help stray animals?

Although we greatly appreciate the fact that many of our supporters want to offer their help in Ukraine, we strongly discourage individuals from travelling into the country.  

Our stray animal care team in Ukraine is normally operating a mobile clinic, carrying out catch-neuter-vaccinate-return projects in different municipalities in the country. However, it is too dangerous to be on the road in these difficult times. Under the current situation, it is not possible to carry out our projects in cooperation with the local authorities. But our SAC team has taken back some of their activities and are currently helping lost or abandoned pets by treating them, helping them to find their families or rehoming them.

However, our local SAC team has been actively supporting local shelters and cooperating with our partners Animal ID on a platform called UPAW with the goal to efficiently distribute food and other resources to shelters in Ukraine.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact our partner Animal ID https://animal-id.net/ua/ directly.

Is FOUR PAWS still operating its stray animal care project in Ukraine?

Due to the current situation in Ukraine, we have temporarily suspended our stray animal care activities until further notice. The team will continue the important work to treat, neuter, and vaccinate stray animals in Ukraine as soon as it is again safe to do so.

Why are you stopping the help for refugees in the neighbouring countries such as Romania?

FOUR PAWS’ response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis was swift, coordinating with partner organisations Fallopia in Slovakia, DoctorVet in Moldova, and Animal Society in Romania. Together, we reached over 2,500 people and their animals supplying food, pet carriers, vaccinations, medications, as well as guidance and information.  

A new project was set up recently – Vets for Ukrainian Pets, a reimbursement scheme operating in 38 European countries, supporting private veterinarians treating pets of Ukrainian refugees. The programme will cover the treatment costs of up to five dogs, cats, or horses, up to 250 Euros per animal, for acute care and medication, rabies and other vaccinations as well as microchipping and medical examination required for safe passage through the EU.   

With the gradual decline of refugees crossing the borders with their pets, and with the launch of the Vets for Ukraine initiative, we are starting to refocus our efforts in our organisations’ core projects. We will continue working within Ukraine, through our established Animal Assisted Interventions programme, and via the platform UPAW which was set up together with Animal ID to coordinate help for shelters in Ukraine.  

Can we interview your team in Ukraine?

Many thanks for your interest in the work of FOUR PAWS and our projects in Ukraine. The wellbeing of our Ukrainian colleagues is of the utmost importance, especially during these difficult and challenging times. We can, therefore, not grant you a live interview.

We are, however, able to offer you an interview in print form and our international colleagues remain at your disposal for live/TV interviews.

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