Members of the public across various European countries have joined social media to offer help to families feeling Ukraine with pets.
As world watches Russian special forces create chaos, fear and destruction in Ukraine, Facebook and Twitter are filling with offers to help the people of Kyiv fleeing their homes in a bid to avoid the deadly bombs.
In scenes reminiscent of previous world wars women and children huddle together, fathers weep their goodbyes and crowds move with just what they can carry from a single suitcase to bottles of water.
For some though, their luggage, their precious belongings also include pets, their dogs and cats with many families working their way towards Poland where the border crossings from Ukraine remain open.
Offers of assistance have been made by dog and cat breeders in Finland, Estonia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Germany and further afield.
Members of the public are posting urgent requests for help such as Lldeo Ortiz Soler, who said: ” We need to get out an underage boy, 17 years old, with his little dog from the Ukraine, Bucha. We need someone to help us take him to a border and from there we can go look for him and bring him and his sister to Spain.”
Maria Jesse wrote: “I need help. We are going from Kiev by train from Kiev – Rakhov to Lviv- ️with Sphinx cats – 2 adults, 2 teenagers and five months old babies. We couldn’t throw them to the bombs, we are begging for help. They are the love of my life.”
Tiia Lahthinen from Finland, wrote: “Dear Ukrainian dog people, breeders and Facebook friends. We would like to help. We can accommodate one family, dogs, and cats. We are located in Finland. Send private message.
”The Finnish Kennel Club has contacted the Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto), in order to find out what to do, if one is traveling to Finland with a dog in the current situation.
“According to Ruokavirasto, dogs traveling as personal pets from Ukraine can for the moment enter Finland without a rabies antibody test. If possible, dogs should be microchipped. Also, a pre-application of an import license is not required in this crisis situation. When entering Finland, the owner should contact Finnish Customs.These guidelines also apply to other pets.”
Mateusz Raducki posted: “We can help in transporting up to four people in transport and four animals and some luggage, from the Polish border to Lodz / Warsaw and all other cities of this area.”
Poland has suspended Covid testing requirements and have asked that applicants attempting to cross the border should make every attempt to have identity and other travel documents ready at the time of crossing.
And rules in place still allow for each traveler to bring with them a maximum of five pets and while current rules state their entry rules include the timing of rabies vaccination, titration test and the implanting of an EU-compatible microchip, it is understood the rules have been eased temporarily.
In Czechaslovakia, members of the public are offering space including paddocks and kennels with bedding and for puppies or small dogs isolation and birthing room.
The Veterinary Department of Estonia are also believed to be facilitating immigrants with animals from Ukraine. This means that animals will be allowed across the border without microchips, vaccinations, passports or clinical examinations of doctors. But each owner must register an animal in the Veterinary Department.
Mike Sapiton, Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Forbes Ukraine, was leaving his home today when he tweeted that dogs were fleeing danger too.
He said: “I don’t know why, but this is the most heartbreaking scene I’ve seen today when sheltering from Russian bombing.”
In response, one person said: “The moment I saw this broke my heart. Why, why do we have to go to war with each other? Why can’t the whole world live with love and happiness together? So sad.”
Another added: “Even the pets are not spared the trauma.”
The Polish Border Guard can be reached via email [email protected] or by phone at +48 22 500 4068, +48 22 500 4568, or +48 22 500 5468.