DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
The tragic war in Ukraine weighs heavily on my mind, as I’m sure it does for many others. And I wonder every day if the people fleeing are able to take their pets. If so, how can I help both pets and their owners coming from Ukraine?
— Gerry A., Utica, New York
Animal welfare and humanitarian organizations are actively teaming up as I write this, working to find ways to provide food and shelter to the pets that Ukraine’s refugees (now over 2 million and counting) brought with them on their perilous journey to the west.
Countries bordering Ukraine — Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovenia — have temporarily relaxed their restrictions on pets. But many pets need care and foster homes because their owners had to leave them and return to Ukraine to join the fight.
While donations to major organizations like the Humane Society will help, you can make the most impact by donating directly to groups that are at the borders right now, setting up pet shelters and providing medical care to pets as they arrive. Unlike some large groups, which take a significant percentage of donations to cover administrative costs, donating directly to smaller organizations means that a much higher percentage of your dollars go directly to food, shelter and medical care (including vaccinations) for Ukraine’s animals as they arrive at the borders.
A Euronews.green article profiles two groups that are on the ground right now. Go to the site and search for “Ukraine’s Pet Refugees” to read about them. And the Belgian-based Eurogroup for Animals lists several more groups that are directly helping animals caught in this upheaval. Go to its website and search for “animal protection organisations-ukraine” to learn more.
To check out a registered charity before sending it money, visit www.charitynavigator.org to search by name.
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Image by Oleg Mityukhin