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Ukraine War

Situation and Support for Animals

Help our mission!

Help for stray animals: Update April, 1st

Help for stray animals


FOUR PAWS and partners provide urgent help for thousands of dogs and cats.

Donations for our "Stray Animal Care project" can be made here.

Help for bears: 
Update March, 24th

Help for bears


In addition to the 29 bears that BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr was already housing, 4 bears from White Rock Bear Shelter near Kyiv and bear Vova can count on our care. Read more!

Help for horses:
Update March, 15th

Help for horses


We supported the transfer of 4 horses from Moldovan-Ukrainian border to Romania. Read more!

Support our work for Ukraine today.

More news and updates!

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See all updates on our timeline below!

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Further Information

Bear Misha

FAQs on the Situation in Ukraine

The war is also affecting animals – how you can support 


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Emergency transfer of five bears

Amid Conflict, Seven Bears Evacuated to Safer Location in Ukraine

FOUR PAWS takes in animals from partner organization in Kyiv region


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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 


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Dog in transport crate

Ukraine: How to Cross the Border With Pets

Leaving the country with your dog, cat, or other pets 


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All updates
Dasha and Lelya

Support our work for Ukraine

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ALL updates

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Stay up to date on this topic and on all FOUR PAWS activities on our social media channels: FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

Animal food is being loaded on a train, that will go to Kiev, Ukraine to feed Zoo animals

#FoodForAnimals: A second emergency delivery is on its way!

FOUR PAWS is able to send another 20 tons of food for zoo animals to Ukraine by train. The transport is supported by the Austrian Federal Railways and has left from Vienna, Austria. It takes up to a week until the desperately needed delivery will arrive at the Kyiv zoo. Find out more about the mission!

Update 5/9/2022 | #FoodForAnimals
The transport of animal food and hay has finally arrived in Ukraine. At Kyiv zoo, the food is distributed to other Ukrainian zoos in Kharkiv, Odessa, Mykolayiv, Cherkassy, and Mena to help many zoo animals across Ukraine.

4/29/2022
Food for shelter animals

Much needed food deliveries reach shelters in need

Through UPAW, we are able to deliver food to the animal shelters in Ukraine that need it the most. We are focusing our aid to mini-shelters, public shelters, and volunteers feeding stray animals in the Eastern regions of the country. One of these shelters is the "Chance" shelter in Zaporizhia, where older dogs from the streets without much hope found a new home. Since the beginning of the war, UPAW has delivered more than 300 tons (over 660,000 lbs) of food to over 12,000 dogs and 9,000 cats in need all over Ukraine.

4/18/2022
Food delivery to Zoo at Kyiv, Ukraine

#FoodForAnimals: Emergency food delivery!  

Our support for Ukrainian animals continues: Thanks to the local authorities in Ukraine, we are able to send a truck with nearly 20 tons (around 44,000 lbs) of animal food to Kyiv Zoo, who will then try to distribute the food to other zoos in the region. The delivery mainly contains special wild animal food for elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, and birds, but also dry hay, and dog and cat food to be distributed to shelters. Please support our work with a donation.

Update 4/8/2022 | Good news: Our truck arrived at Kyiv Zoo! After a long trip, our truck arrived safely and will help those animals who also suffer in these difficult times.

4/6/2022
Dog in Ukraine

UPAW keeps delivering tons of food to animal shelters in Ukraine

FOUR PAWS together with International Registration System - Animal ID and Dogs Trust Worldwide, launched Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide (UPAW), which works as a platform to register and fill in information regarding their most needed requirements. So far it has processed over 1,000 requests for mostly food, medicine and other supplies.

4/1/2022

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Help for animals at Ukrainian borders

When the war in Ukraine started, many animals were severely affected. FOUR PAWS together with our partners rushed to support them. Many refugees brought their pets with them, and we were able to help more than 1,500 of them in the last weeks. We provide them with much-needed items such as food and medication, as well as vet care. Our goal is to make sure the animals are prepared for the next step in their journeys. You can support our work here. 

3/30/2022
Bear Vova in former keeping conditions

Vova is in our care!

One of the horrible things about war is that all the things that were wrong before only get worse, even though they might not get as much attention anymore. This is why even in challenging times like these, we are doing our utmost best to change the lives of animals that are suffering. One of them is bear Vova, who was locked up in a tiny concrete cage outside a restaurant. For an animal his size, that is nothing short of torture. Last November the circumstances of his keeping became illegal by a change of law - and we have been fighting to get him out ever since. Nearly 20,000 of you supported Vova by signing our petition - now together with the Ukrainian organization UAAA we were able to convince the authorities to follow the plea, and we were able to take him into our care at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr.

3/24/2022
Popeye and Asuka are settling in well in quarantine

Popeye and Asuka are settling in well in quarantine

The two bear cubs were temporarily cared for at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr after White Rock Bear Shelter had to relocate them due to heavy war action in the area. Recently, Alternativer Bärenpark Worbis, run by Stiftung für Bären has given them a long-term home. Popeye and Asuka are now getting used to their new surroundings and seem to have a lot of fun! We wish them all the best!

3/22/2022
Taking care of refugees from Ukraine in Romania

Taking care of refugees from Ukraine in Romania

Every day refugees from Ukraine are arriving at the Bucharest Railway Station. Our partner organization Animal Society is working tirelessly to bring some relief to them, as well as pet food and equipment for their pets. Furthermore, our Animal Assisted Intervention teams and their dogs are paying visits to 3 refugee centers in Peris and Magurele. The visits of our teams come as a breath of fresh air especially for the children. We see that even in the most challenging times, dogs can bring a smile to even the most troubled humans!

3/20/2022

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A personal message

A personal message from Ihor Nykolyn, Director of our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, specially for you to let you know how our bears are doing.
If you want to support us, you can do so here!

3/18/2022
Urgent help to animal shelters in Ukraine

Urgent help to animal shelters in Ukraine

FOUR PAWS has teamed up with Animal ID and Dogs Trust Worldwide, and we are about to launch UPAW (Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide). With this platform, shelters in need will have a direct connection to ask for much needed supplies. UPAW will facilitate the distribution of dog and cat food to hundreds of shelters in Ukraine. We will let you know when it is online – stay tuned!

In the meantime, more than 176 tons (over 388,000 lbs) of pet food to over 100 shelters in Kyiv, Kharkiv, and many other cities have been distributed. This equates to feeding over 100,000 dogs and cats!

3/17/2022
Transfer of 3 bears from Ukraine to Germany

Transfer of 3 bears from Ukraine to Germany

In an emergency rescue mission, BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr accepted 7 bears that were evacuated by the NGO Save Wild Fund from White Rock Shelter located in the Kyiv region, in the first week of March as a temporary solution. However, the sanctuary’s maximum intake capacity does not allow the team to provide a long-term solution for all new 7 bears rescued in Ukraine. Also, other FOUR PAWS bear sanctuaries in Europe currently have no space to take bears in. Therefore, the FOUR PAWS team, together with White Rock Bear Shelter and Bears in Mind from the Netherlands has been working hand in hand with two German organizations that are well equipped to take care of the bears permanently. Alternativer Bärenpark Worbis, run by Stiftung für Bären who carried out the transfer from Domazhyr to Germany, will from now on house the two bear cubs, Popeye and Asuka. Moreover, Tierschutzzentrum Weidefeld, run by Tierschutzbund will be the long-term home to Asiatic Black Bear Malvina. We are very grateful that they will permanently shelter the bears in Germany. Thank you to everyone who is supporting this action!

3/16/2022

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Emergency evacuation of horses

Earlier this week, our Romanian partner ARCA put us in contact with a horse stable near Odessa concerning an emergency evacuation. As the safety of 4 horses could no longer be ensured, ARCA together with the help of a group from the Romanian equestrian society, organized a transport from the Moldovan-Ukrainian border to Romania. The transport was needed for not only the horses, but also for their owners with their dog and cat. Our team was part of a humanitarian convoy and had to cover a distance of over a 1,000 miles: a journey that took 3 full days.
To be able to save as many lives as possible, large authorized horse transport trucks are needed. To those who own such trucks and can give us a helping hand, please contact office@arcahelp.org.

3/15/2022
Bear Chada

Waking up and foraging 

Despite the current situation, our team on site at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr and our animals are still doing well under the circumstances. Our wonderful team continues to take care of the 36 bears, especially since half of the Domazhyr bears have woken up from their hibernation now. There are still a few bears resting, and we are wondering when they will show up to start foraging again. Chada is the Himalayan brown bear that came to us from White Rock Bear Shelter last week, and she is already busy foraging in her new surroundings.

3/14/2022
Natalia and Busia in action

Physical and emotional support

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, our therapy dog Busia and her handler Natalia have been providing much-needed physical and emotional support to many families and children. When Natalia is not feeding and caring for animals at the shelter in Vinnytsia (to which we donated food last week), she is providing a place to rest and food to families arriving after a long and exhausting journey. And while Natalia makes sure people recharge their batteries, Busia does her very best to cheer them up with her lovely character.

3/14/2022
BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr

A new sanctuary update

Despite the current circumstances, our on-site team is not sitting still and is caring for 36 rescued bears. While most of the bears are still in hibernation, some are waking up and slowly getting active, and are starting to eat small amounts of food. Popeye and Asuka, two of our newest members since the emergency rescue with our partner White Rock Bear Shelter, are carefully exploring their new surroundings.

3/10/2022
Help for Ukrainian animals in Romania

Help for Ukrainian pets in Romania

Together with our partner Animal Society, our team in Romania is responding swiftly to the current crisis. We are assisting Ukrainian refugees who are arriving with their pets at the Bucharest Northern Railway Station after a long and exhausting journey. The team has set up a comfortable tent in the railway hall to welcome refugee families and their pets so that they can have a minute to breathe and recover from what they have been through. Afterwards they receive much-needed items such as food, bowls, transport cages, leashes, collars, toys, and blankets. To make sure the animals are prepared for the next step in their journeys, our veterinarians provide free first aid care as well as deworming, microchipping, and vaccination against rabies.

3/9/2022
Bears released into outdoor enclosure

Released into outdoor enclosure

Seven bears were transferred from White Rock Bear Shelter to BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. The two cubs and two of the adult bears were now released into the outdoor enclosure at BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. The bears and the team are doing well under the circumstances.

3/8/2022
Help for shelter dogs

Much-needed food for shelter dogs 

Yesterday, our AAI and SAC teams in Ukraine delivered 1.5 tons (3,307 lbs) of dry dog food to Vinnytsia shelter Vinmsfa. This will help to feed approximately 320 dogs spread between Vinnytsia shelter and another local shelter for about one month. This food delivery comes as a huge relief as both shelters were starting to run out of food and the number of dogs is, unfortunately, increasing day by day.

3/8/2022
Rescue of 2 bears

Second emergency bear rescue

Last weekend, our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr took in 7 new bears. On Saturday evening, the first 5 bears from WHITE ROCK Bear Shelter near Kyiv arrived, as their safety near the capital could no longer be assured. Late yesterday evening, the 2 remaining bears of the same shelter made it safely to our sanctuary. In addition to the 29 bears that BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr was already housing, these 7 bears can count on our care. Additionally, our team is assessing the situation and planning the next steps to support animals that unfortunately are still in the country. Help is needed everywhere. Will you support us to be prepared? Then make a donation now.

3/7/2022
Bear rescue

Emergency rescue of 5 bears

#BREAKING! Emergency rescue of 5 bears in Ukraine! In times of emergencies, we have to be ready to act fast and support one another. 5 bears were relocated in an emergency rescue operation from WHITE ROCK Bear Shelter near Kyiv, to our BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr as the shelter could no longer assure their safety. We are in constant contact with our colleagues in the country.

3/5/2022
Bear Moris

A thank you for all the messages

Dear friends of BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr. Let us start with saying THANK YOU! We received an overwhelming amount of messages over the past few days, from all over the world. This really means a lot to us! Despite the current circumstances, our onsite team as well as the bears are doing well. Although most of the bears are still hibernating, some are awake and active like our Moris. We will keep you posted. Please stay safe and take care of yourselves and your families.

3/3/2022
Info on how to cross UA border with pets

Support for people and pets

FOUR PAWS welcomes the decision of the European Commission to open the EU borders to Ukrainians travelling with their pets, even without a valid pet passport and microchip. In order to support people evacuating with their pets, we have set up a collaboration with our local partners in the neighboring countries to support Ukrainian refugees with their pets should they need anything in the upcoming days and weeks. Find all the relevant info here.

3/1/2022
Bear Potap

An update message

From our sanctuary in these difficult times: All our staff and bears are doing well under the circumstances. Most bears are still hibernating, and those who are not – like Potap – are cared for according to their daily routines at the sanctuary. Thank you for all the supportive messages from all over the world, and to our friends from Ukraine, we say: stay strong!

2/28/2022
Bears Dasha & Lelya

Dear friends of BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr

We are deeply concerned about the current war in Ukraine. We empathize with everyone in Ukraine, humans and animals alike, our colleagues, and their families. The health and safety of our colleagues and bears is of the utmost importance to us and we continue to take care of the 29 bears in our sanctuary. Due to the current situation, the BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr will be closed for visitors until further notice. We will give regular updates. Please stay safe and take care of yourselves and your families.

2/24/2022

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