Project location: Ukraine
Project start date: March 2022 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 2022-002
Beneficiary: Humane Society International/Europe


Humane Society International (HSI) works around the world to help animals and their owners. Its Crisis Response teams have decades of experience working on several continents—providing assistance to governments and their citizens with the aim of preserving life and alleviating the suffering of animals in times of need. HSI has responded to a variety of crises including fires, earthquakes, floods, animal rescues in cases of abuse (dogfighting, dog-meat farms), and in times of military conflict.


The war in Ukraine is impacting millions of people. Many have lost their lives; many more have fled the country, moved to safer locations within Ukraine, sought safety underground or remain blocked in their place of residence. During this conflict, huge numbers of animals are also being directly impacted.

Humane Society International established a network of NGOs, community organizations, and corporations to support the needs of animals and their caretakers that have been impacted by the war. HSI aims to preserve animal life, keep humans and their animals together, and ensure veterinary care is provided at little to no cost.

Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, HIS has intervened with a special task force experienced in emergency management.

In their action plan, they have worked with various local animal welfare organizations and on the borders where the flow of migration had the most significant impact. Romania, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldovia, excluding Belarus and Russia were the neighboring countries most involved.

HSI supported more than 21 local associations with different types of interventions along the border to support refugees with animals, sending food and medical supplies to the various kennels or volunteers to care for the thousands of abandoned dogs and cats.

To date they have distributed more than 65,000 first aid backpacks in Ukraine and Poland, containing items such as animal tags, collars, waterproof ID badges, animal toys, and information on free vet care.

Emergency financial aid has been provided to one of the largest animal organizations in Ukraine, UAnimals. Uanimals is assisting shelters, veterinary clinics, rescues, and zoos within Ukraine. Additionally, Humane Society International is partnering with the Red Cross. With the Red Cross’ unique status in wartime situations, HSI can more safely transport veterinary materials and desperately needed food directly to Ukrainian animal caretakers and organizations.

Just in the month of May HIS has sent 23 tons of pet food, crates and other supplies were to the distribution hub of UA Animals in Lviv from where it could reach areas that most needed.

Through the charity Save the dog supported by HIS, 102 tons of pet food were sent to Ukraine to be distributed to animal shelters and activists who feed strays dogs in Odessa, Mykolaiv, Khatriv and Izmail.

HIS in collaboration with European Veterinary Federation has financed the campaign Vet for Ukraine Ukrainian: refugees who have fled the war with their pets will are able to access free veterinary treatment in 28 European countries. The program covers the treatment costs of up to five dogs, cats, horses, or other pet animals, up to 250 Euros per animal, for care and medication, rabies, and other vaccinations as well as microchipping and medical examinations required for safe passage through the EU. More than 2076 animals have been treated in 28 European countries.

To help refugees traveling with pets, a strategic collaboration with the flag carrier LOT Polish airlines was carried out to provide pet crates and pet transport for free for Ukrainian passengers. In May, 115 cats and dogs were transported and in June, 46 pets.

Over the last few months, HSI established another valuable strategic collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of the global airline industry, representing 83% of the world’s air traffic. Together, they started work on guidelines for airlines to provide temporary flexibility to facilitate pet transport by air for refugees who bring their companion animals along their flight to safety.

The end of this terrible conflict is not foreseeable, and the support of HSI is also continuing from the perspective of discussing a subsequent reconstruction phase.

Currently, one of the latest new initiatives is to support a mobile veterinary unit that helps injured and abandoned animals in the city of Kyiv


HIS was among the first animal protection organizations to respond, providing incoming refugees and rescued animals from Ukraine in countless bordering countries with aid, pet food and supplies, safe transfers and travel, and free veterinary assistance to more than 80,000 animals and over 160 tons of pet food distributed.

The Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant to HSI to achieve the following results:

- Distribution of 65.000 + backpacks with animal supplies

- Delivery of 160 tons of animal food and supplies into Ukraine and in the surrounding region

- Free veterinary care to refugees across the European Union

- Keep the animals with their owners in every situation possible

- Engage corporate partners that can play a role in supporting Ukraine’s animals and their caretakers

- Provide assistance and mental well-being to animal caretakers impacted by the war

think global, act local
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