Sirens, Shrapnel, and Saving Animals in Ukraine

Published by PETA.

Since just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, PETA Germany has been working with a network of committed volunteers and organizations to rescue more than 1,700 dogs and cats so far. These rescues are in addition to the more than 860 metric tons of food and provisions delivered to help dogs, cats, donkeys, and horses still trapped in war zones—deliveries that will continue as long as they’re needed. This work is made possible by the generous supporters of PETA’s Global Compassion Fund. Please consider making a lifesaving donation, and check this page regularly to stay up to date on this vital work.

Update (August 4, 2022): Severely emaciated and badly injured dogs and cats in hard-hit Kharkiv were in urgent need of help. Risking their lives, rescuers got them into Hungary after a high-stress daylong journey, during which the rescue vehicle was hit with shrapnel. Although everyone thankfully made it to safety, this incident serves as a harsh reminder that companion animals and humans in Ukraine are suffering and in danger every day.

While saving these animals, rescue teams received a desperate call from animal welfare workers who needed help with seven traumatized dogs who had spent days traveling in transport boxes, only to be denied admission when they reached the Polish border, even though the guardian of the dogs was present with all the necessary paperwork. PETA Germany immediately rerouted the dogs to the Hungarian border, where they were allowed to cross and spent a few days recovering and receiving veterinary treatment at one of the group’s care stations there, before being moved to a therapy center in Poland.

©Jevgenija Jedlicska
©Jevgenija Jedlicska
©Jevgenija Jedlicska

To help more dogs and cats in need of urgent care while being transported to safety, PETA Germany is expanding several private shelters near the Hungary-Ukraine border. So far, there are now spaces to house more than 300 dogs and cats at a time. All spaces are currently full of animals who are being cared for while waiting out their required quarantine period, and the teams are looking forward to being able to look after even more traumatized animals very soon.

Update (July 29, 2022): While the war in Ukraine rages on, PETA Germany’s partner organization Animal Rescue Kharkiv (ARK) is operating in some of the most dangerous and active battle zones in the beleaguered country.

©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
This dog is one of many animals who were abandoned in a suburb of Kharkiv that is now directly in the line of fire. Almost no humans are living there to care for these animals.
©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
After somehow managing to escape a grenade that fell on this house, killing others in the area, a dog named Richie is now with ARK and will be transported to a new home.
©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
This is a partially destroyed residential building in Kharkiv’s Pyatikhatka district where ARK found and helped an injured dog. Some locals still live in the basement of this building.
©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
This building was also bombed by Russian soldiers, and most structures in this district of Kharkiv have become uninhabitable.

To save as many animals as possible ARK often works with the Ukrainian military for protection, as they may have only 10 or 15 minutes before bombs or gunfire start raining down again.

©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
Three dogs, Kleopa, Marcus, and Clay, were left behind when their guardians were forced to evacuate their home after bombings, but ARK was able to pull them to safety just in time.
©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
All three dogs—Kleopa, Marcus, and Clay—are in good health and will soon be reunited with their family!
©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
ARK employees discovered this German shepherd desperately running through the streets in the line of fire, with no guardians to be found. She was rushed to safety and transported to a loving new home.
©Animal Rescue Kharkiv
At a military checkpoint, Ukrainian soldiers asked ARK to help find a home for a dog who had given birth to several puppies in the barracks. The entire family of dogs is recovering in a safe area until they’re ready to be placed for adoption.

You can support the vital work of these and other brave and compassionate individuals by supporting PETA’s Global Compassion Fund.

Update (July 22, 2022): Ruda and Misieck have been through so much together. After the dogs escaped terrifying fighting in eastern Ukraine, the first stop on their long journey was a rescue center in Poland, where they were quarantined, examined, microchipped, and vaccinated while PETA Germany’s rescue team secured the necessary documents to take them into Germany.

They were overjoyed to be in a foster home, and once there, the pair’s strong bond became even more apparent. Ruda is outgoing, and Misieck finds comfort in being with her when he feels anxious. Their rescuers knew that kind of friendship was too important ever to be broken, so they’ll both be moving into a new home together, where they’ll finally experience a safe and carefree life far from the horrors of war.

Update (July 12, 2022): Since just days after Russia invaded Ukraine, PETA Germany has been working with a network of committed volunteers and organizations to rescue more than 1,650 dogs and cats—and counting! These rescues are in addition to the more than 680 metric tons of food and provisions delivered to help dogs, cats, donkeys, and horses still trapped in war zones, deliveries that will continue as long they’re needed.

Take a look at just a few of the wonderful individuals who have recently been rescued in Ukraine—their happy faces say it all! This work is made possible by the generous supporters of PETA’s Global Compassion Fund.

Two young dogs who were rescued from Ukraine by PETA Germany


Update (July 8, 2022): When the Russian assault on Eastern Ukraine intensified in the city of Dnipro, PETA Germany and other animal advocates on the ground knew they needed to act quickly. After organizing successful rescue operations to evacuate animals from the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, they’d become experts at getting animals out of harm’s way—and now they would need to do it again.

The team soon searched Dnipro, finding 200 dogs and cats in need of rescue—but they couldn’t locate the fuel for the vehicles needed to drive the animals out of the city, and the driver they had engaged was called away. Refusing to give up, PETA Germany and its ally Animal Rescue Kharkiv combined their resources and linked together a chain of committed activists who could supply vehicles and fuel to move the animals—link by link—across the country to an animal shelter on the Hungarian border. Shortly after the caravan left Dnipro, the bridge they had just used to escape was bombed out, blocking access to the city. The animals were saved just in time!

A PETA Germany rescuer holds a young cat recently rescued by the team from Ukraine

Crates that held animals rescued from Ukraine sit outside the transport truck

Volunteers working at the shelter cried as they hugged the new arrivals and prepped them for the next leg of their journey—transport to the Global Compassion Fund–supported safe haven in Hungary. At this peaceful, open-air refuge, they’re receiving medical care, food, and plenty of affection while completing their required quarantine. All the animals will soon be ready to meet their adoptive families in neighboring countries and leave the trauma of war far behind.

Update (July 1, 2022): PETA Germany and its partners in Ukraine face new challenges every day—but with new obstacles come new triumphs.

For Lucky, Life Was a Highway—Now, It’s a Home

A staff member at a Ukrainian partner shelter near the Hungarian border found an injured dog lying in the road. She whisked him to a veterinarian, but the prognosis wasn’t good: Three of his legs had been broken. It took several operations and no small amount of TLC from shelter staff, but the gentle dog pulled through, and he was aptly named Lucky.

Lucky on steel table with bandages around legs© Alexandra Horvat

He will soon be on his way to Germany, where teams are working to find loving homes for more dogs like him. You can read more about his story and the lifesaving rescue work in Ukraine in this new article from PETA Germany’s Judith Pein.

Temporary Shelter Provides Permanent Relief

With help from local animal organizations, the PETA Germany team has finished construction of a temporary shelter outside Budapest that can house more than 300 animals as they complete their required quarantine before they can be transferred to shelters in Germany. The “pop-up shelter” is in a large, peaceful area where animals can heal and recuperate.

The first 20 dog evacuees are “breaking in” this haven, where they’re also receiving medical care and vaccinations as well as being spayed or neutered. Staffers caring for the dogs say that it has been inspiring to watch them overcome the trauma they’ve experienced as they befriend one another and learn to trust humans again.

PETA Germany and its partner organizations have transported more than 1,600 cats and dogs out of Ukraine and have supplied more than 600 metric tons of food and supplies to families and animals still within its borders. You can support their lifesaving work with a donation to the Global Compassion Fund.

Update (June 24, 2022):

PETA Germany and its partner organizations have been in Ukraine since the war began, doing all that they can to get animals and their human family members to safety and delivering food and supplies to those who are still in danger. So far, the rescue teams have transported over 1,600 cats and dogs out of Ukraine and have supplied more than 600 metric tons of provisions and food for dogs, cats, horses, and donkeys. See some of the rescued animals and their grateful guardians in the brief documentary below:

Update (June 13, 2022): At only a year old, sweet Daisy was alone in war-torn Ukraine and likely wouldn’t have lived much longer. Thanks to PETA Germany’s repeated efforts to enter a war zone, her life changed drastically for the better when rescuers scooped her up and transported her to safety in Poland, along with dozens of other cats and dogs.

After weeks of care, during which she received her vaccinations and clearance to travel, she embarked on another journey—this time to her permanent home in Belgium.

Daisy Has a Big New Family

Daisy’s new guardian describes her as smart and energetic. She loves people and is affectionate with everyone she meets. Now part of a big family, she lives with a canine brother and two sisters in her new home—and they all play and sleep together.

Her favorite pastimes are racing around the yard with her new pack (she’s fast!), tempting her new neighbor to give her treats through the fence, napping in her preferred armchair, paddling in the pond (and getting dried afterward), sleeping on her guardian’s bed with her canine brother, chewing on a squeaky pineapple toy with her puppy sister, and carrying around a fluffy yellow duck.

It’s hard to know or even imagine what she has been through, but this adorable and resilient little girl is now enjoying the life she’s always deserved.

Take Action for Animals in Ukraine

As Daisy starts this new chapter of her life with her furever family, many loving adoptable dogs like her are still waiting for a permanent home. Remember, every time someone buys a puppy or a kitten, they fuel the homeless-animal crisis and an animal in a shelter loses a chance at finding a home. To help animals still in Ukraine, donate to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund, and then come back to this page for more information on PETA Germany’s diligent efforts there.

Update (June 6, 2022): PETA Germany has been on the ground in Ukraine since soon after the war began, working with its partners to transport more than 1,300 animals to safety and delivering over 400 tons of supplies to feed more than 100,000 cats, dogs, horses, and donkeys across the country. Most recently, the teams have been working near the Ukrainian border in Hungary to help animal shelters build the necessary infrastructure to provide up to 300 animals at a time with temporary accommodations.

Volunteering With PETA Germany to Help Animals in Ukraine

In late March, Woodstock Farm Sanctuary Director Hervé Breuil traveled from New York to meet PETA Germany’s team at the Ukrainian border in Poland. In May, the sanctuary’s shelter assistant, Brendan Lynch, followed suit and spent two weeks in Hungary, helping animals and their guardians cross the border to safety.

Brenan stands with a dog he helped at Ukraine's border

PETA Prime spoke with Brendan about his eventful trip and the memorable animals he encountered:

Hungary has set a strict policy that only five animals per person are allowed when crossing the border. We had no issues going into Ukraine, and Passport and Customs Control processed us quickly. The officials were nice but made sure we didn’t exceed the five animal per person policy. Crossing with animals into Hungary took longer, especially with the slower pace of the Hungarian passport and customs officers. My first trip was with Judith from PETA Germany on May 5, and together, we brought nine cats into Hungary.

For more details about Brendan’s time with PETA Germany, check out his PETA Prime interview. You can take action for animals who need help in Ukraine below:

Update (May 18, 2022): PETA Germany is building shelters in Hungary to host animals rescued from Ukraine.

Since the war broke out, PETA Germany has rescued over 1,300 cats and dogs from Ukraine. Now, to save even more animals, the group and others are building shelters in Hungary. These shelters, located near the border with Ukraine, will provide temporary accommodations for up to 300 animals at a time.

PETA Germany helps rescued animals find shelter

Tired and stressed after arduous journeys from all across Ukraine, these victims of war will soon be able to rest, recuperate, and receive lots of TLC from the staff in Hungary. Due to border regulations, cats and dogs rescued from Ukraine must often spend time in quarantine before they can travel to Germany or other EU countries. At these new shelters, Ukrainian animals will receive all the medical care, tests, and vaccinations they need in order to be adopted into permanent homes.

Update (May 10, 2022): PETA Germany has worked vigorously since Russia invaded Ukraine, rescuing over 1,300 cats and dogs, reuniting refugees with their animal companions, and feeding more than 100,000 cats, dogs, horses, and donkeys across Ukraine.

PETA Germany Helps Rescue a Woman and More Cats and Dogs From War-Torn Kharkiv

Kharkiv is under constant attack and is now one of Ukraine’s worst-affected areas: Large parts of the city have been destroyed. PETA Germany volunteers and a local animal protection group braved the dilapidated city and evacuated a woman and her cats and dogs safely from her besieged hometown.

Some of the animals were injured but received the veterinary care they needed.

Two dogs sit in a kennel as they are transported by PETA Germany

Meet Mira, one of the dogs rescued from Kharkiv. She’s now safe in Budapest:

Mira the dog relaxes after being rescued from Ukraine by PETA Germany

Over 1,300 Ukrainian Animals Have Now Been Rescued

Among the rescued animals are these cats, who are now in quarantine in Germany and will soon be ready to be adopted:

These dogs from Kyiv were scared and exhausted after their journey to the border, but now, they’re safe in Hungary with their human family:

Two Refugees Reunited With Their Animal Companions

PETA Germany and others reunited two Ukrainian women with their cats and dog:

After spending 10 days in an air raid shelter, Juli and her two kids fled the Kharkiv region for France. She had to make the heart-wrenching decision to leave her cats behind.

Now, after weeks of painful separation, the family is back together. Watch their emotional reunion—Juli couldn’t be happier to see her beloved cats again. After everything this family has been through, we’re thrilled that PETA Germany was able to help reunite them.

And this is Tani, a dog from Dnipro. The moment she was reunited with her grateful guardian after almost two months apart will melt your heart:

Tani and her guardian are now in the Czech Republic, far away from the war.

Hungry Dogs, Cats, Donkeys, and Horses Are Receiving Much-Needed Food

PETA Germany continues to send food for cats, dogs, horses, and donkeys into Ukraine. To date, the group has delivered over 400 tons of provisions across the country.

Update (April 26, 2022): A woman, her twin children, and the family’s dogs and cats are now safe after PETA Germany braved the wreckage of the warzone in Bucha, Ukraine, to rescue them.

Evgenia, her 3-year-old twins, and their cat and dog companions had been staying in the city outside Kyiv during the massacre that continues to shock the world. It seemed impossible for them to escape, and Evgenia didn’t want to leave the animals behind.

After Russian soldiers had left the city and the streets had been cleared of mines and the dead bodies of civilians, PETA Germany made the harrowing journey through the war-torn country to reach Evgenia and get her and her family, including the cats and dogs, out of Ukraine.

cat rescued from Bucha with family

The hazardous trip was long and frightening, but after almost 30 hours on the road, Evgenia, the twins, and the animals arrived in Germany, where they’re now safe.

In addition to rescuing humans and other animals, PETA Germany has fed more than 100,000 cats, dogs, and horses in Ukraine since the beginning of the war.

Update (April 14, 2022): After receiving information about Ukrainian horses who urgently needed food, PETA Germany sprang into action. It’s still very cold in Ukraine, and parts of the country are still covered in snow, meaning there is no fresh grass for horses to eat.

Ukraine: Doing Whatever It Takes to Feed 100+ Starving Horses

The complex mission to get a shipment of horse food into the war-torn country took several days, but—knowing these animals would starve to death without it—the team was determined to reach them.

Ukraine: Doing Whatever It Takes to Feed 100+ Starving Horses

Now, more than 100 horses have full stomachs. PETA Germany will continue to bring them more food until the weather becomes warmer and they can eat grass.

The PETA Germany team is also providing more cats and dogs with food, too. Thanks to the group and the help of local supporters, more than 440,000 pounds of provisions have now been delivered all across the country, feeding more than 80,000 animals.

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Update (April 11, 2022): As the rescue missions continue, meet some of the brave Ukrainians who have risked their lives to save animals.

Seizing the Last Chance to Save Cats From Kyiv, Ukraine

When local activist Dara heard that a bridge in Kyiv was going to be destroyed, she quickly took action, removing 50 cats from a local animal shelter and escaping with them to Lviv. Hours later, the bridge was bombed. She used the last chance she had to evacuate the cats.

Other local activists cared for these animals until PETA Germany arrived. It took the rescue team four long trips to deliver them to safety. They crossed more than 420 miles. Now all 50 cats are free from danger.

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

This elderly cat is called Snezhok, which means “snowball.” He was exhausted after the long and frightening journey, but he has quickly recovered and is now resting soundly.

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

And this is Dymka (meaning “haze”). When the PETA Germany team rescued her, she was initially struggling to breathe, so the rescuer kept Dymka on her lap and gave her all the TLC she needed during the trip. She received immediate veterinary care upon arrival and is feeling much better.

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Escaping From War in a Vegetable Box

We admire the bravery of activists from Korosten—a city in northern Ukraine that has been under heavy attack for weeks—who risked their lives to deliver cats to safety. Between shelling and bombings, four volunteers managed to take 20 cats from a local animal shelter out of the city. They put the cats in vegetable boxes and homemade wooden crates secured with ropes and wires and took them out of the war zone.

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

The PETA Germany team met them at the border, and now the cats are safe in Prague, where they’ll soon find permanent homes.

Young Couple Rescues Dogs From War-Torn Kyiv

A young couple rescued some of these dogs from Kyiv. It was a dangerous journey, but luckily, all these animals and their brave rescuers are safe. PETA Germany took the animals along with other Ukrainian dogs to Hungary, far from the war zone:

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

They’re now happy at an animal shelter run by PETA friends in Budapest.

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Ukrainian Heroes Help PETA Germany Feed Hungry Cats and Dogs

Delivering and distributing food all across Ukraine remains a top priority. PETA Germany has delivered 88,000 more pounds of food for homeless animals, animals in shelters, and people who have no food for their animal companions.

Two dogs in shelter in Hungary

Before embarking on more rescue missions, PETA Germany visited animal shelters in Hungary, where the team gave some TLC and made new friends, including these eager dogs.

It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of brave Ukrainians who are determined to feed the animals at any cost. Just look at these men—these true heroes are feeding 800 dogs and cats in their region in the middle of the war:

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Update (April 1, 2022): Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, PETA Germany has been moving mountains to get help to those in need. In less than one month, the team has rescued nearly 1,000 animals, fed approximately 84,000 cats and dogs, and helped countless guardians flee the war-torn country with their animal companions in tow. For Bissy (below), who was rescued from a Ukraine shelter, and other animals like her who need loving guardians and a safe place to call home, PETA entities are helping to find permanent placements in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, and elsewhere.

Animals don’t start wars, but like human victims, they suffer immensely during these conflicts.

PETA Germany’s lifesaving mission is an ongoing one. A train full of food, for example, recently delivered more provisions for cats and dogs in Ukraine.

Just look at these moments when hungry animals finally got their paws on this very special delivery:

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Nearly 1,000 Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Watch this space for updates—more food and other forms of help are on the way! And click below to learn how you can support this vital work:

Update (March 28, 2022): Bissy (below) was one of the first dogs PETA Germany rescued from Lviv, Ukraine. The team found her in a local animal shelter and, of course, took her and many other dogs and cats with them.

Now, Bissy is safe in foster care and spends her days hanging out with her new friends:

© Ada Foundation

This sweet girl, who touched the hearts of a lovely family from Switzerland, will soon be moving to her new permanent home.

Update (March 27, 2022): These cats spent more than two days in tiny cages after being abandoned near the Ukraine-Poland border. But then the PETA Germany team heard about their plight.

They rushed to rescue all 12 of them:

The cats spent the night with the team before they were moved to an animal shelter. Soon, they’ll all be ready to be adopted.

Update (March 25, 2022): The rescue missions continue! PETA Germany rescued 44 more cats and dogs:

This week, the rescue team helped Elina (first on the left), her cat Felix, and 11 other cats flee Ukraine. Now, they’re safe in Germany.

Below is Felix with Elina’s husband, who had to stay in Ukraine. This photo was taken on the first day of the war:

Her husband, a hero to animals, is now helping PETA Germany deliver food to hungry cats and dogs all across the country. We hope he’ll be reunited with his family soon.

Update (March 24, 2022): Every time PETA Germany goes on a mission to Ukraine, they load their vans with food so that local rescuers can feed the animals they’re caring for.

@petauk To date, @petadeutschland have delivered 120 tonnes of desperately needed food for dogs and cats in #ukraine #🇺🇦 #animalsofukraine #ukraine🇺🇦 ♬ original sound – PETA

The team has sent food to overwhelmed locations like Kharkiv and Kyiv, where dogs and cats desperately need supplies. Some of them are still living in shelters that were partially destroyed by bombings, and staff are relying on these supplies to help keep animals alive.

Dogs in bombed building in Ukraine

Update (March 23, 2022): The PETA Germany team is still moving mountains to get to animals in need. Meet some of those rescued from Kharkiv and recently helped by the team:

740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

And below is Stella, who survived the bombings in her hometown as well as a dangerous 700-mile journey across Ukraine. PETA Germany helped ensure her safe entry into Poland, where she is now and where veterinarians are taking good care of her.

And there’s been more progress for those fleeing war-torn Ukraine with their animal companions: Sweden has joined the list of countries that have eased entry requirements for animals from Ukraine. Visit PETA.org.uk to learn more about what refugees can expect if and when they arrive at the Swedish border.

Update (March 22, 2022): Humans and other animals continue to receive urgently needed help at the border between Ukraine and Romania, thanks to PETA Germany’s partner organization, Eduxanima, and the kind folks who have supported this vital work.

740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

The teams are there for both refugees and impoverished locals, providing them with food and their animal companions with food and veterinary care.

740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Update (March 21, 2022): Another 40,000 pounds of food has been delivered to feed hungry cats and dogs in Odesa, Ukraine. Their grateful faces say it all:

Update: 740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Update: 740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

The PETA Germany rescue team brought another 120 cats and dogs out of Ukraine to safety over the weekend. Some of them had been left locked inside apartments and houses when their families fled the war. Now they are safe and fed, have been checked by veterinarians, and are receiving lots of love after their long, exhausting journey:

Update: 740+ Animals Rescued From War-Torn Ukraine

Many of the animals rescued from Ukraine in the past three weeks are now in Germany and Austria, far away from the war. Lots of them have already found new permanent homes, and the rest will be ready to be adopted very soon.

To date, PETA entities have taken more than 740 animals out of war-torn Ukraine and delivered 240,000 pounds of desperately needed food within the country. This is in part thanks to the generosity of kind supporters—click below to learn more:

Update (March 20, 2022): Marius and Pamplemousse have been reunited with their families!

When the war broke out, this family fleeing to the Czech Republic had no choice but to leave its cat companions with an animal rescuer in Lviv. The PETA Germany team managed not only to bring the animals to safety but also to reunite them with their grateful guardians! These sweet boys captured the team’s hearts and spent the long and stressful journey to Poland sitting on their laps. It was hard to say goodbye, but knowing that they are now back with their beloved family in the Czech Republic is the happy ending we’ve all been hoping and working for.

Update (March 19, 2022): PETA Entities helped evacuate these dogs from a shelter that was bombarded near Kyiv.

Brave activists brought them to Lviv, and the PETA Germany rescue team brought them across the border into Poland. Many of the dogs have serious health issues and are now receiving urgent veterinary care.

They will soon be heading to a shelter in Germany, from which they can be adopted into permanent safe, loving homes.

Update (March 18, 2022): PETA Germany has delivered urgent supplies for cats and dogs in Ukraine! Two trucks carrying another 44 tons of food have arrived safely in Lviv. From there, it’s being distributed to other parts of the country to feed as many starving animals as possible.

In total, PETA Germany has successfully delivered 110 tons of food for animals in Ukraine. Many people cried as they received this desperately needed food for their beloved cat and dog companions. PETA Germany will continue to bring supplies for animals in need in Ukraine. Stay tuned!

Update (March 17, 2022): More good news from the Polish border: PETA Germany has secured the safety of almost 100 more animals, including close to 80 dogs from an animal shelter in Kharkiv and 11 cats and 10 dogs from Kyiv. A group of veterinarians is swiftly treating any animals with injuries. Every day presents a new set of challenges, and this time, just crossing the border resulted in hours of delays. The group’s latest rescue trip from Poland to Lviv, Ukraine, and back took over 36 hours, but they were determined to help animals—many of whom had already traveled hundreds of miles and were exhausted.

PETA Germany helps white cat refugee

PETA Germany also just acquired an extra van to rescue even more animals from Ukraine and bring them to safety in Poland.

This rescue team is working around the clock for animals in need. Thanks to their endless efforts, over 600 cats and dogs from Ukraine are safe and those who need to find new homes will soon be ready for adoption.

PETA Germany crosses border with van

PETA Germany’s partners are also still at the Romanian border helping refugees obtain companion animal passports, vaccinations, collars, and food.

Dog from Lviv rescued and brought to Poland

Don’t miss the latest update on surrounding countries’ entry requirements, and please share this news far and wide to help refugees. Keep reading to learn more about PETA Germany’s efforts in Ukraine—plus how you can support this vital work.

Update (March 16, 2022): People from all across Ukraine desperately need more food for their cats and dogs as it becomes more difficult to get supplies, and PETA Germany is still rushing to help. Three trucks with 120,000 pounds of dog and cat food are already on their way.

Remember this sweet video showing puppies having lunch?

One of the trucks that PETA Germany loaded up is headed for Odesa, Ukraine, and soon these dogs and their friends will receive additional vital provisions.

The two other trucks have now left Berlin and are on their way to Lviv, Ukraine. From there, PETA Germany and local activists will distribute 80,000 pounds of food to people with animals across the country.

Meanwhile, the team continues to bring animals over the border to safety. These cats (below), who arrived in Poland last week, have already been adopted. They’ll be going to their new homes in Austria very soon.

Keep reading to learn more about PETA Germany’s efforts in Ukraine, plus how you can support the work of PETA entities there and all around the world.

Update (March 15, 2022): The city of Kharkiv has seen some of the worst fighting in Ukraine. It has been heavily bombed for days now, so getting as many of the cats and dogs from the local animal shelter to safety as possible has been a priority for PETA Germany’s rescue team, which, last night, managed to transport more than 30 of these animals to Poland.

After an almost 700-mile journey, the animals are finally getting some rest and TLC. See just a few of the dogs rescued …

… as well as PETA Germany’s rescue team rushing to take animals across the Polish border:

And remember yesterday’s food delivery to Odesa in southern Ukraine? These puppies couldn’t be more grateful:

Here are a few of the many other dogs from Odesa who have benefited from the huge food delivery:

And more food is already on the way! Follow @peta on Twitter, and check back here for more updates.

Update (March 14, 2022): PETA has received confirmation that entry requirements for companion animals from Ukraine into the U.K. have now been relaxed. Instead of applying for a license in advance, refugees can arrive at the border and the Animal and Plant Health Agency will assist with simplified paperwork and cover the costs of vaccination and quarantine.

The quarantine period may be up to four months, depending on the vaccination status of each animal. However, PETA U.K. is calling for this to be shortened and for regular visits from the animals’ guardians to be allowed.

Meanwhile, the PETA Germany team is continuing to rescue as many animals as possible. This weekend, they brought another 100 cats and dogs safely across the border into Poland, and the team has now rescued more than 500 animals.

This cat is from Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, which has been heavily bombarded:

And this 12-year-old dog, whom the team named Josef, came all the way from Donetsk. Vets are now treating his injured leg:

Many of the rescued animals are currently being cared for at a wonderful shelter and getting all the TLC (and medical attention) they desperately need.

Mishka used to live on the streets of Lviv, Ukraine. Now, she is safe in Poland.

The team rescued this mom and her puppies last week. Look how peaceful they are now they are out of danger!

All the animals are getting lots of care and attention and will be ready for adoption in the coming weeks.

PETA Germany’s partner organization, Eduxanima, is at the Romanian border helping refugees with animals. It has set up a portable clinic, where the team is microchipping and vaccinating the animals, issuing them passports, and providing them and their families with food– all free of charge.

And the good news doesn’t end there: Hungry cats and dogs in Odesa, Ukraine, are finally getting a proper meal today after PETA Germany delivered more than 44,000 pounds of food for the starving animals in the city. The truck stocked with companion animal food traveled all the way from Berlin to this city in the very south of Ukraine.

This tough and dangerous journey took a week: five days of driving and two days of waiting, making phone calls, and sorting out the paperwork to cross multiple borders. Finally, the stomachs of cats and dogs in Odesa will be full.

PETA Germany has now delivered more than 132,000 pounds of cat and dog food to Ukraine, and much more is on the way.

Stay tuned for more updates, and click below to support the work of PETA entities in Ukraine and around the world.

Update (March 11, 2022): Another day, another rescue mission, another 100+ dogs and cats saved. Joined by other activists, PETA Germany’s team brought dozens of animals from Ukraine across the border into Poland last night. Loving homes are already waiting for them in Austria. This means the team has now rescued more than 400 cats and dogs from Ukraine. Meet just a few of them:

And here’s more good news: Greece, Portugal, and Moldova have eased their border restrictions for people with companion animals! See which other countries refugees and their animal companions can safely enter:

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Even from the U.S., you can be a part of this vital work:

Update (March 10, 2022): Yesterday, we reported that a team from PETA Germany had set off to bring nearly 90 more cats and dogs to safety. They’ve since returned to Poland from Ukraine—with more than 100 animals in tow, all of whom are now safe and being cared for in a shelter. This means that to date, PETA Germany has helped rescue more than 300 companion animals from Ukraine.

It’s not getting easier, but the group is working around the clock to be there for the humans and other animals who desperately need them. After another 24-hour journey, the rescue team is tired but determined. They have been working with a network of amazing Ukrainian people, performing miracles to bring animals to safety. Here are some of the humans and other animals they helped yesterday:

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

The team met up with local activists and the more than 100 cats and dogs who had been brought on a dangerous days-long journey from a shelter in Kyiv, helping to deliver them all safely across the border in Poland.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

PETA Germany also transported Nika; her cat companion, Misty; and 22 other cats who are all now safe and receiving lots of love and attention at a shelter in Poland. Misty, who was feeling ill last night, is being seen by a veterinarian today.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

And this is Ludmilla, the human pictured below, who is keeping a sweet deaf and blind dog warm under her jacket. She found the animal, whom she calls “Little Hedgehog,” tied to a lamppost and brought him along with the other animals when she fled Kyiv.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

And just as PETA Germany was about to leave, this sweet, abandoned fellow was delivered to the team by caring locals. He, too, is now at the shelter with his new dog and human friends. Once he’s been microchipped, sterilized, and vaccinated, he—like all the others—will be ready to be adopted into a permanent home far away from war.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

And below is Lena—she fled Kyiv with her cat companion, Dracula, after a missile hit her neighbor’s house. It took them 20 hours to travel from Kyiv to Lviv, where she was picked up by PETA Germany’s team. She is one of hundreds of thousands of people leaving the country together with their beloved animals.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

Meanwhile, PETA U.K. is urgently compelling its local officials to ease border restrictions, to join the many other countries in Europe and beyond that are providing humans and other animals, like Lena and Dracula, with refuge.

Update (March 9, 2022): “There’s no time to lose when animals need us.” It’s become the unofficial motto of PETA Germany’s Ukraine rescue team, a group of activists who have already completed three successful rescue missions—and they’ve now hit the road, headed for Lviv, Ukraine, determined to knock out a fourth.

“It’s a tough journey, as the road is covered with ice and it’s been snowing all night. We are driving carefully from Poland and hope to arrive soon, as more animals are waiting for us. This time, we are going to pick up almost 90 cats and dogs,” a team member reports. These animals all come from a shelter in Kyiv, on the other side of Ukraine. Other brave activists have traveled more than 300 miles to help bring them to safety.

To date, PETA Germany has rescued more than 200 cats and dogs in Ukraine.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

One of them is Mishka, pictured above. She and her friend Rouzha (below) were living on the streets of Lviv. A kind local woman (above) had fed and cared for both dogs for many years. She was in tears when she met PETA Germany’s team—at once sad to part with her friends and enormously happy and relieved to know that Mishka and Rouzha would be safe and would spend the rest of their lives in a loving home.

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

And not only dogs are being rescued—just look how grateful this cat is to his human rescuer!

PHOTOS: PETA Germany’s FOURTH Ukraine Rescue Mission

All these cats and dogs are getting the care they need and will soon be vaccinated and spayed or neutered, and then they’ll be ready to move to their permanent homes.

Update (March 8, 2022): After setting off yesterday morning, PETA Germany’s team returned this morning, managing to bring a further 70 cats and dogs into Poland.

Most of the animals are in good health, but those who need veterinary help are receiving round-the-clock care.

The animals have come from all over Ukraine. Some were found tied to railings or in abandoned carriers. Brave local rescuers brought them to Lviv so that PETA Germany’s team could pick them up and transport them across the border. Some of them have traveled over 300 miles to reach safety. Among them are a very sick dog (see below), who is refusing to eat or drink, and a cat with a broken leg. Both are now being looked after by veterinarians.

After getting a little sleep, PETA Germany’s team will gear up for the next rescue mission—its fourth—to bring more cats and dogs into Poland from Ukraine. Click below to support this vital work:

A third truck carrying another 44,000 pounds of food for cats and dogs set off this morning for Odessa, a city in southern Ukraine. Reportedly, some dwindling provisions for humans still remain there, but animals in the city have been hungry for four days now—PETA Germany is doing everything it can to ensure that the transport arrives soon.

A PETA Germany team and other activists are at the Medyka border between Poland and Ukraine, too, giving away food and water to families arriving with animal companions. They’re also offering essential information and humanitarian aid to the people there.

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Thank you to everyone who has left words of support for PETA Germany’s teams on the ground on social media—your encouragement means the world to them. Follow @peta on Twitter for the latest updates.

Update (March 7, 2022): With two vans, one animal ambulance, and plans to rescue another 80 animals from Ukraine and bring them to safety in Poland, PETA entities are on another rescue mission.

Thanks to a network of brave volunteers, cats and dogs from all over Ukraine are being taken to a shelter in Lviv, in the west of the country, where PETA Germany is collecting them. The group will then help them be adopted into loving homes or reunited with their families.

All the animals rescued last week are safe and being cared for. Their stomachs are full, and they’re receiving all necessary veterinary care and being spayed or neutered as well as vaccinated and given some much-needed TLC. Thirty-six of them are now en route to Germany, where they will be put up for adoption far away from the conflict zone.

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On Friday, three volunteers bringing food to an animal shelter in Bucha, just outside Kyiv, were shot and killed, reportedly by Russian troops. The three fearless individuals successfully delivered the provisions to the shelter—which had gone without food for three days—before being tragically killed. “She was one of the best human beings I knew .… She loved animals,” said the husband of 26-year-old Anastasiia Yalanskaya, one of the volunteers who lost their lives. We salute these three heroes, and PETA entities will channel their bravery and perseverance as they carry on this important work.

In addition to the 88,000 pounds of food taken to Ukraine last week, PETA Germany has organized the delivery of 40,000 more pounds of food for cats and dogs, which is now on its way to Odessa in southern Ukraine.

Update (March 4, 2022): PETA Germany completed two parallel rescue missions in Ukraine on the night of Thursday, March 3. Facing grave danger, the organization and animal group Viva! Poland rescued nearly 100 hungry cats and dogs, many of whom were very sick. The animals made it across the Polish border, and now they’re being treated by veterinarians.

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At the same time, another team from PETA Germany and Polish animal group White Paw crossed the border into Ukraine to rescue an additional 26 cats and a dog. During this rescue, they delivered 44,000 pounds of food and other supplies, which are now being distributed across the country. And they have already delivered a second truck packed full of food and other emergency supplies since then.

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PETA Germany is fighting through congested roads and miles of red tape to get animals to Poland. These trips will be followed by many more.

Originally published on February 27, 2022:

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country. Russia continues to attack, and more than 130,000 people are on the run. Many already traumatized people have been and are being faced with the impossible decision of leaving their beloved dogs, cats, and other family members behind due to the protocol for the noncommercial movement of companion animals into the European Union (EU). A team from PETA Germany has traveled to the Polish and Romanian borders to provide on-site assistance: They’ve managed to rescue exhausted cats and dogs and is helping to shepherd animals to safety.

Immediately after arriving at the Polish border, PETA Germany’s team helped Crimsee, the cat photographed above, who was carried by their caring guardian more than 37 miles from the war zone. The woman was so exhausted that she could barely stand.

They are both now safe and receiving support from PETA Germany.

PETA Germany Mobilizes for Families Fleeing Ukraine© Ратынский Вячеслав / UNIAN

PETA Germany’s team also responded to a call for help when several dogs were crossing the border with their human guardians and needed urgent care. All involved were debilitated and frightened.

PETA Entities Call For Safe Passage for Humans and Companion Animals Into the EU

The current regulations for bringing companion animals into the EU and the U.K. are impossible for refugees to follow in a state of war: Animals such as dogs and cats must be vaccinated and microchipped and need an antibody titer for rabies confirmed through a serological test to enter the EU—but many of those who have been forced to flee don’t meet these requirements.

So PETA entities worldwide have appealed to the EU to temporarily suspend the legal entry requirements for animals at EU country borders. And mercifully, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, and others are agreeing to ease entry regulations for humans and their animal companions. While implementation remains complicated on the ground, PETA Germany is doing everything it can—even befriending guards who display a soft spot for animals—to make the movement of companion animals into the EU as feasible and safe as possible.

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PETA U.K. is urging officials to ease entry restrictions so that Ukrainian refugees can enter the U.K. with their animal companions, too.

In Asia, following PETA India’s appeal, the Indian government relaxed import requirements for animal companions from Ukraine, enabling them to travel with their guardians to India, and many Indians have been sharing their happy stories.

PETA Latino persuaded officials to offer companion animals refuge, too: Following reports that Mexico’s plan to evacuate its citizens from war-torn Ukraine would not include companion animals, the group rushed a letter to Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, urging him to reconsider and allow animals to accompany their fleeing families—and it worked! Mexican citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine were allowed to evacuate with their companion animals.

Food for Animals in Need

In an undertaking with many obstacles, PETA Germany has coordinated the delivery of blankets and 44,000 pounds of dog and cat food. Stores in Ukraine are closed and supplies are running low, so the group is doing everything in its power to move other urgently needed goods into the country to provide relief.

Eduxanima, a PETA Germany partner organization in Romania, also managed to get across the border into Ukraine to collect dogs who had been left behind. It’s also offering to vaccinate dogs and cats free of charge, carry out necessary blood tests, and provide the animals with sufficient food and veterinary care.

Please consider helping the team provide as many animals as possible with vital resources, including food and veterinary care, by giving to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund right away.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind