At several border crossing points along the Ukrainian-Polish border, refugee welcome centers have been set up. Every day, thousands of refugees come in who need a place to stay overnight, before continuing their journey into Poland and from there other neighboring countries. Our team has visited several of these border crossings, supporting the local veterinary teams and distributing water, pet food, harnesses and carriers to refugees who have fled Ukraine with their pets. Here are some of their stories.
In Korczowa, we meet Iuliia as she sits on a cot in the refugee center. She tells us that she escaped the bombing in Kyiv and is hoping to bring her eight-year-old Pomeranian, Hugo Boss to the United States, where she has family. IFAW emergency responders Jennifer and Shannon help advise her on the process for getting Hugo Boss the correct vaccinations and paperwork for an “owned dog” importation permit.
At the border crossing in Medyka, our team finds Tania sitting outside in the cold. Tania left the war-torn Kyiv region with her 10-year-old daughter and one-and-a-half-year-old Pomeranian, Mikaela, who she calls her “best friend.” While talking to us, Tania is overcome with emotion trying to explain why she had to leave Ukraine. We stay with her for a while, give her some dog food for Mikaela and wish her well on her way to Germany.