When it comes to rescuing abandoned pets from Ukraine, Florida Urgent Rescue is running against new barriers.
Florida Urgent Rescue (FUR) has been in Ukraine, helping rescue abandoned pets or animals stuck in shelters, taking them out of the country and getting them to safety. But News4JAX has learned the rules for them have changed.
Jacksonsville, FLORIDA – Florida Urgent Rescue (FUR) has been in Ukraine, assisting in the rescue of abandoned pets and animals trapped in shelters, as well as transporting them out of the country and to safety.
However, News4JAX has discovered that the regulations have changed for them.
They were members of the volunteer animal rescue teams from Florida who traveled to the war-torn country a month ago. And we just found out that their mission now includes saving pet-owning households.
It was simple for the volunteers to cross the border into Poland with the rescued animals when they initially started. But, as volunteers point out, it's no longer that straightforward.
Countries such as Poland have stated that you must have a Ukrainian who owns the animals and bring them out. You can't just bring out any animal, Caroline Lingaitis of FUR stated.
As a result, these Florida volunteers found themselves rescuing and moving not only animals, but also their owners. They just rescued two pet-owning families and transported them to Germany. The families were desperate to move their dogs to a safer nation.
They don't even know how to speak German.And they didn't know anyone, said Lingaitis.
Volunteers were able to rescue two cats from an American who resides in Ukraine but was out of the country when the Russian invasion began, despite the new laws in place. They transferred a dog from an Eastern Ukraine shelter to Poland, where it was awaiting adoption by a family. They were also able to evacuate sick and injured canines to safe havens in western Ukraine, where violence has been minimal.
One of the Florida teams has been rescuing animals in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, which has been targeted by Russian forces. Outside of Kyiv, teams are keeping an eye on the situation.