Refugees from Ukraine are crossing the border from Ukraine into Poland at Medyca, Poland, with their pets

FOUR PAWS: Animal Welfare in Times of War Continues

Neighbouring countries take in pets, bears in Ukrainian sanctuary are being kept safe 


Vienna, 5 March 2022 – The war in Ukraine has currently displaced nearly a million people, but it has also affected their pets and huge numbers of animals across the country. In the last few days efforts were being made by global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS together with local partners to take care of pets fleeing with Ukrainian refugees to neighbouring countries. Vaccinations, microchipping, medical treatments, and food are the most important things that are been taken care of for the next days and weeks to come.

FOUR PAWS has been active in Ukraine for ten years now and has an office in Kyiv. It also runs BEAR FOREST Domazhyr in western Ukraine, which is currently home to 29 rescued bears. Due to the dangerous situation, the Stray Animal Care (SAC) activities in the country had to be paused until further notice.

"In order to help people evacuate with their pets, we have established a cooperation with our local partners in neighbouring Romania and Moldova in case they need anything in the coming days and weeks. Our clinic in Sofia is also available for refugees with their pets. We are using all our contacts and our wide network to organise help not only for the Ukrainian people but also for the animals across the borders." 

Manuela Rowlings, Head of FOUR PAWS SAC Europe

Specifically, FOUR PAWS helps with vaccinations, microchipping and medical treatments, provides transport boxes for pets, food, leashes and harnesses, as well as temporary accommodation.

In regards to companion animal shelters in Ukraine itself the requests for food are increasing heavily. FOUR PAWS has a been working on companion animal projects in Ukraine since 2012 and the stray animal care team has delivered much needed veterinary care to 30,000 stray dogs and cats in over 60 municipalities over the last 10 years. Rowlings: “While our catch-neuter-return projects are currently on hold, we are putting all our energy into collaborating with other animal welfare organisations, big and small, Ukrainians as well as international, to deliver aid quickly, unbureaucratically and where it is most needed to suffering animals in Ukraine.

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Michael Kellner

Michael Kellner

PR International Officer

+43 (1) 89 50 20 20

+43 (0) 664 504 38 97

VIER PFOTEN International 
Linke Wienzeile 236
1150 Vienna, Austria

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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions.

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