Humane Society International has been working to assist displaced individuals and refugees with their dogs since the conflict in Ukraine began.
Larysa, a Ukrainian woman, was lucky enough to be in the United States when the war broke out. Unfortunately, Persik, her cat, was still at home in Odessa.
Fortunately, Larysa’s cousin was able to convey Persik safely from Ukraine to Warsaw, Poland. Persik needed to get back to his human now that he was secure.
While helping people in Poland, Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for Humane Society International, met Larysa on social media and learned about her tale. She agreed right away to assist in bringing Persik to the United States so the two could be reunited.
“Larysa almost gave up hope of ever seeing Persik, but someone always stepped in to help and get this cat out of the war and back to his mother,” Donithan added. “I’m grateful that I was able to assist him in returning home.” This is a unique story, but it is not the only one. Every day, we see compassion in Ukraine, Europe, and around the world.
It’s a difficult and frightening moment, but all of these simple gestures of kindness are maintaining and pulling families together at a crucial time. It’s apparent how much pets mean to their families even in the darkest of circumstances.”
Animal shelters in Ukraine lack basic supplies such as food to care for displaced pets, and refugees who have lost everything require food and assistance to care for their cats and dogs.
Greater Good Charities is assisting in the delivery of significant quantities of pet food to those in need. We’re buying truckloads of emergency food with our colleagues at U-Hearts and The Animal Rescue Site to distribute to pet shelters in Ukraine and distribution facilities in neighboring countries that support refugees with pets.
Watch Persik’s story and reunion with his mom in the video below: