Ukrainian refugees who have fled the war-struck country with their pets will now have access to free veterinary care in 38 European countries.

The new and unprecedented program, Vets for Ukrainian Pets, was launched by the Human Society International (HSI) and other partners. The program will cover the treatment costs of up to five dogs, cats, horses, or other pet animals. It also includes up to 250 euros per animal for acute care, medications, vaccines, microchipping, and medical examinations.

The program is fully funded by HSI, which has already been helping animals, shelters, and organizations throughout Ukraine since the invasion. Animals are often forgotten about as victims in times like these, so it’s amazing to see all of the programs like FOUR PAWS and Vets for Ukrainian Pets support Ukrainian animals at this time.

Ruud Tombrock, executive director of HSI/Europe, said, “The trauma of war as well as the stress of the evacuation journey, can make animals vulnerable to a variety of illnesses and so HSI’s Vets for Ukrainian Pets program aims to eliminate barriers to accessing veterinary care for the pets of refugees. It will provide a much-needed safety net for those families fleeing with their beloved pets so that at no point they feel compelled to leave their pets behind due to concerns about being able to care for them.”

Quickly after the invasion, European Commission recommended that requirements for the entry of pets in member states should be eased. Since then, according to HSI, at least 13 EU member states have lifted or adjusted their restrictions on companion animals, including rabies requirements. There is still no standard policy across the EU, so the program will be a step closer to helping all of the animals and families that are escaping the war.

The program will run until the 21st of May and is available to all licensed veterinary clinics to apply. Clinics that would like to join can apply to the program at apply.vetsforukraine.com.

HSI hopes that this will help assist veterinarians so that animals all across Europe who are escaping the crossfires can get the free medical care that they need. Check out 10 ways you can help people and animals in Ukraine and sign this petition to support Ukraine.

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