Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the world has watched as millions of people have fled their homes due to the conflict. The war hasn’t just taken a toll on the people of Ukraine, but its animals, too. Many Ukrainians are fleeing the country with their pets in their arms, in some cases walking for hundreds of miles to the border with a dog on their back. But some are forced to leave their pets behind to escape Russian shelling. The United Nations reports that more than 3.6 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion. Many animals have been separated from their families or remain in shelters due to threats of bombing, which means animal shelters in Ukraine are in desperate need of food and supplies. Bordering countries are also in need of help to process the hundreds of animals arriving each day with refugees. We’ll tell you how to help animals in Ukraine and those displaced by the war.
How to Help Animals in Ukraine
We’ve seen inspiring examples of people caring for Ukrainian refugees, and people from all over the globe are asking how to help the people of Ukraine during this time, and also the animals impacted by Russia’s military invasion. If you want to know how to help animals in Ukraine, we’ve put together a list of organizations that are working to deliver food and critical supplies to displaced pets and shelter animals.
1. Humane Society International
Humane Society International is providing support and emergency funds to groups that are helping the Ukrainian people and the animals in their care. If you’re looking for how to help animals in Ukraine, their website states that donations will directly support lifesaving work to protect animals in the country.
The post on their Instagram reads:
“With generous supporters like you by our side, our lifesaving work for animals caught up in the deadly war in Ukraine has not and will not stop. In Poland, our Animal Rescue Team is helping assemble pet relief packs while working with groups on the border to fast-track needed supplies. They’re also providing emergency funding, pet food, and veterinary supplies to partners in #Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Italy. This is an incredibly difficult time for so many and the trauma of the devastation is unbearable. We will continue fighting to keep animals fed, cared for, and with their families.”
UAnimals is a Ukrainian animal rights organization. On their Patreon page, they share stories of how they’re supporting animal shelters by sending money, food and assisting in evacuating animals to other countries. An update on the page from March 23rd describes how they recently provided locals in Kyiv with food for themselves and their pets:
“Once again, food was distributed to those who have problems buying it in a store. This time we distributed 70 bags of food to needy citizens. Most of those who received food today are elderly people who have been abandoned by their neighbors, children or acquaintances who have left the capital. They were ready to take care of the animals, but no longer had anything to feed the animals. These people with tears in their eyes accepted our help and sometimes did not even believe that it was possible. Many people returned with their animals to show those whom they should “say thank you” to. People also offered us their help in our activities.”
3. Happy Paw
If you want to know how to help animals in Ukraine and donate to organizations working within the country, Happy Paw is another Ukrainian organization that is supporting animal shelters with their daily needs. They help 60 shelters throughout Ukraine by providing much-needed funds and food. You can follow their Instagram page for stories and photos from shelters that received food donations.
4. International Fund for Animal Welfare
The International Fund for Animal Welfare is supporting organizations in Poland working to help animals. On their website, they describe how they are working on the ground in Warsaw to process refugees and their pets from Ukraine. Since tens of thousands of refugees are coming into Poland per day, many with their pets in tow, Polish veterinary teams have been working tirelessly to vaccinate and chip pets so they’re legal in the country. An update from the website reads:
“When we arrived at Przemyśl train station earlier this week, we found that the veterinarians working at the station were completely exhausted. Every day their team of three people processes up to 200 dogs and cats, coming in on trains from Ukraine. The animals have traveled miles with their families and are often dehydrated and showing signs of hypothermia, so wet food and other items such as cat carriers, leashes and harnesses are continuously needed. We are delivering daily supplies to the station team, so refugees have critically needed support for their journey onward.”