Pet-owning Ukraine refugees who have fled the country with their pets can now access free vet treatment across 38 European countries, thanks to a coordinated project led by an international charity.
The initiative, founded by Humane Society International (HSI) and its partners, means refugees will be able to have costs covered for up to five dogs, cats, horses, or other animals, providing up to €250 (£209) per pet for acute care and medication, rabies and other vaccinations, as well as microchipping and medical examination required for safe passage through the EU.
The fund was established with support from Mars Incorporated, in collaboration with Federation of Veterinarians in Europe (FVE) and the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA).
Reimbursements for participating veterinarians will be available wherever FECAVA has members, including in the UK, Germany, Italy, Romania, and Poland, as well as Ukraine.
The initiative, dubbed Vets for Ukrainian Pets, will run until 21 May 2022 and is open for all licensed veterinary clinics to apply throughout Europe.
Clinics wishing to join the programme can apply via https://apply.vetsforukraine.com
Meanwhile, insurance company Petplan has also said it will provide free pet insurance to all Ukrainian families bringing their cat to the UK via the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
The company has said pets will be treated under Petplan’s Classic Covered for Life policy, enabling owners to claim up to £4,000 if their pet is ill or injured during the first year they are in the UK. Petplan says: “Petplan has been deeply saddened by the events in Ukraine, and the impact the war is having on people and their pets.
We will be offering free pet insurance to families coming to the UK with pets via the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
“If you’re hosting a Ukrainian family and their pet, and you would like to find out more about the support that’s available, please get in touch on 0330 057 3662.”
In addition, the Petplan Charitable Trust will be donating £25,000 to the Blue Cross Ukraine Pet Welfare Fund to support pets in the war-torn country.