Here’s how we’re taking action for Ukraine and its animals—and how you can help

By on March 4, 2022 with 34 Comments

With the weight of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine heavy in our hearts, we are thinking of the Ukrainian people and their animals and identifying ways to help them now and over the longer term.

How could we do otherwise with a torrent of images and news reports flooding in all around us? People desperately fleeing with their pets in tow, showing the world that they value their animals’ lives just as they do their own.

Amid the chaos, shelters, rescue groups and veterinary clinics in Ukraine are trying to keep their operations going, making every effort to provide safety and urgent care to animals caught up in the conflict. Relief workers and organizations are also doing all they can to clear the way for emergency entry into neighboring nations for Ukrainians with pets. 

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of our partner, family-owned Mars, Incorporated, we’re in a position to respond right away to the needs of Ukraine’s animals and those seeking to help them. In our previous collaboration, a worldwide COVID-19 relief effort, we were able to help more than 280,000 animals in 36 countries on five continents, providing desperately needed food, veterinary care and other support. 

With no time to waste, we’re prioritizing support to shelters, rescue groups and veterinary clinics in Ukraine. It is vitally important to sustain these institutions in their efforts to maintain operations and services. In many cases, they are helping individuals and families who cannot flee but are trying to hold onto and care for their pets and other animals. In addition, some groups are caring for animals on the streets. The demands and needs of the moment are substantial and will continue to be significant in the future.

To assist these organizations, Humane Society International is collaborating with a partner in Ukraine, UAnimals, to assess and prioritize the needs of shelters and clinics actively engaged in relief. HSI in Germany is working with Berliner Tiertafel to provide refugees with pet food and necessary supplies for their animals as well as veterinary care if needed.

We’re also planning to support animal groups in neighboring countries such as Poland and Romania as they assist refugees arriving from Ukraine with their pets. The groups trying to provide relief are going to need food, carriers, medicines and critical supplies. 

The same is true for zoos and wildlife rescue centers in Ukraine, and we’ll do our best to help them meet their needs, too.

For any of us, having to leave our homes under such horrific circumstances would be distressing enough, but no one should have to jeopardize their own safety because of uncertainty about evacuating with their canine or cat companion. Having to do so without food, medicines or documentation concerning their pets’ health and vaccination compounds an already nightmarish scenario.

That’s why it was encouraging to see the quick response of the European Commission, which recommended that veterinary paperwork requirements be relaxed for dogs, cats and other companion animals traveling with Ukrainian refugees seeking safe passage within the European Union. To their credit, a number of EU nations promptly did just that. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine offers one more affirmation of a powerful lesson that we have learned in nation after nation, and in crisis after crisis, around the world. Most people with pets will not willingly leave them to fend for themselves. Emergency response and evacuation efforts cannot be successful if they do not accommodate that deepest of human desires to protect a beloved pet from danger and harm and to do everything in our power to stay together. That’s what I see in the images streaming in from the conflict zone, the images of people with the pets they love and would not leave behind.

Please donate to protect animals imperiled by disasters or humanitarian crises like the conflict in Ukraine and to support all our lifesaving work.

Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Humane Society International

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Que bueno que se este haciendo algo al respecto con los animalitos y que se este pensando en ellos por favor no los dejemos solos por favor no los abandonemos por favor ellos también también nos necesitan

  2. Jeane Camargo da Silva says:

    Parabéns e muito obrigada pela ajuda de Todos!! Deus os abençoe!

  3. Ranjit Samarasinghe says:

    Bless all of you who are committed to the cause of caring for animals in distress.

  4. Judy Schmidt says:

    At this time, please concentrate your efforts and money on the animals/pets of the war against Ukraine. People want to contribute.

  5. Elise Caplan says:


    Please tell me there is a way to rescue the captive zoo animals in both kurkyiv and Kyiv. It’s so cruel they were captured to become zoo animals and now they will die in war not being able to escape.

    I will donate for that only and I would like to volunteer in any way I can. There are more than 40,000 innocent zoo animals. Elephants and others needing to be sedated because of the extreme fear.

    Please help rescue them. I will donate and volunteer if given a chance.


    • Sally says:

      Hey, Elise-I read your comment and was thinking the same thing! Pets aren’t the only animals that are in jeopardy. How do we help the others? Any thoughts anyone has on that would be very welcome to read! I haven’t seen much info at all on that.

  6. ADELE CAMPLIN says:

    Hi, It is great to know that behind the scenes, many folk are working to support the care of all the animals in the ukraine. Also, I understand that, are trying their best to help their partners and friends in the ukraine and are doing a great job as well.

    Praying that you will get heaps of help in this terrible time, and that many success stories will be told. Hope also, many pets will be able to be reunited with their families. Keep up your tremendous work guys, as every animal, and person count.
    Take care, Adele C

  7. K.Wood says:

    Thank you all for your endeavors to help pets an their humans.Prayers are with you all. May God be with Ukraine an all envolved.

  8. Basema says:

    Hello, I am a Portuguese citizen and I would like to help any abandoned animal in Ukraine at the moment

  9. Marsha Friedman says:

    What is happening to those pets that weren’t able to get on the buses?
    Was anyone able to Rescue the German Shepherd that stayed by his owner that was killed holding his Lab.
    Those Elderly that were left behind with their aged pets, who is going to help them?
    Thank you!
    We are trying to figure how we can help, and know that this is where the money will go; not to those working here in the US

  10. Marsha Friedman says:

    We need to Help NOW!

  11. sherrie burger says:


  12. Robin Hell says:

    Where to I donate for Ukraine animals.

  13. Karen Blaker says:

    I want to help care for animals
    who are still in Ukraine. Of course, I
    will donate to this cause as well. I
    live in the United States and would appreciate
    greatly information about volunteering
    with the animals.

  14. Carmen chubeck says:

    How can I find info to adopt a animal from urkraine?

    • Jeanne Louise Hathaway says:

      I have read your question regarding adoption of refugee dogs. Have you any success in obtaining information for contacting organizations doing this work?

  15. Krisztina Kis Halas says:

    I’m sending a care package to Ukraine through the House of Ukraine in San Diego. I’d love to include some pamphlets about how to evacuate with pets, first aid for pets, contact information for local shelters and Veterinarians. Can you share some pdf files via email?

    • Tatiana martins says:

      Hi there. I am also looking to help by sending a box with supplies for the animals. Do you know how I can do that? Any advise would be appreciated. I’m in NJ and I’m not sure if they can receive packages in Ukraine.

  16. patricia Helwig says:

    how can i help to recue these animals from ukrain where can i donate i donate monthly to hsus what can i do

  17. Courtney Civitareale says:

    I know there’s alot of people asking about adopting a pet. I would also love to have info because I too would love to adopt a cat. I’m from the United States so I don’t know exactly how to do it. I know there’s lots of animals in shelters in Poland and if I can adopt a Poland cat just to help them reduce the amount of animals I will do that too. I would love to get some help when it comes available. God bless❤️

  18. Staci says:

    I’ve been hearing through social media about a pet shelter in Ukraine called Sirius Shelter, which has no electricity or water and is low on food. They are getting water from a local river. I just wanted to make sure they are on your (HS) radar, as they are in crisis.

  19. May Davis says:

    I would like to help physically bring animals out if Ukraine to safety. How and where can I volunteer to do this?

  20. carol breault says:

    I want to donate to animals being rescued in Ukraine and no other place. Do you have how to do this.

  21. Teri says:

    Please help the Sirius Shelter! It’s the largest animal shelter in the Ukraine. They are desperate for fuel to run their electric that runs the well. There is no “Green Corridor” for them. 428 dogs, 218 cats! Please help!!!

  22. Jeannette Sinclair says:

    About the cats and horses. You don’t don’t address these creatures in any posts. A person who I follow Facebook is touch with her friend in Ukraine that had to turn looze her horses to fend for themselves hoping she after God war awful is over? This heartbreaking that she had to do. What of the little kitten who had ribbon the Ukraine flag color tried it’s neck?
    I know you doing whatever is humanly possible. well it’s war zone. Stay safe! And all most to Urkarine’s who refugees or dead. And little children so many them!!!

  23. Dave Lutes says:

    As a lifelong pet owner, it disgusts and sickens me when I see the terrified look in the eyes of the animals and people being wrongly tortured by that psychopathic greed monger in Russia. I would like to know how I can contribute to the feeding and veterinary care of these animals. Thanks to the compassion and action of the Humane Society for its heartfelt care of these poor animals and their worried owners.

  24. Bela Fidel says:

    In every video provided by the news media I look for dogs. I have seen dogs looking for food, abandoned dogs sitting by a house (maybe theirs?), possibly waiting for the guardians who will never come back. Most of the dogs I have seen have collars on. Is anyone able to track those dogs and take them in, maybe a shelter? I know how difficult this may be, what with the danger of being shot by a sniper, etc.
    It is very cold now and these abandoned dogs have absolutely no one to help them. They surely do not understand why they were abandoned. What do we know about local organizations trying to find and take these dogs in?

  25. Kathetine Napolitani says:

    Sing the videos People taking their cats and dogs with them and then seeing others where Being left behind is Heart wrenching There was 1 photo of a man with his head in his dog’s. His dog was so traumatized that he Physically could not move. This precious dog was traumatized and experiencing shell shock. The worst of it by she finally was able to get the dog back to the apartment where they lived. However the man was told he could not bring his dog with him. He had to abandon him. What a horrific moment in that man’s life and the dogs. This for helpless dog Who is traumatized to the point of being paralyzed to the point it could
    D not move. Is now left hearing bombs going off around him with no one to comfort him or rescue him. In the way the indiscriminate bombing is taking place His home could be the next target we’re he could be injured and suffer even more or die. I cannot even imagine having to make that kind of decision And I pray for this precious pup. ThT some kind hearted person will care for him/her.

  26. Cristina says:

    Hi, I have read that stray animals may not be allowed to enter some countries because of public health reasons (may have rabies, exc,); but many people would love to adopt them. Is it possible to create check points at the borders to let them out?

  27. Rachel Morris says:

    We have a no-kill animal shelter in the United States and are interested in saving at least 20 Ukranian cats by having them flown to the United States. We have resources and can pay for this to be done. PLEASE respond to me via email.

  28. Rev Philomeno Kinera says:

    How can I help financially animals in ukraine

  29. Karin Erker says:

    Es ist so schrecklich, was den Tieren durch Menschen für leid angetan wird. Wir müssen aktiv gegen das tierleid kämpfen. Stop die Armen Tiere es bricht mir mein ♥️

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