As Christmas approaches, we thought it was time to look back at some of the happy Ukrainian pet reunions in the UK we’ve had the privilege of being part of since March of this year.
For Ukrainian families displaced by the Russian invasion and able to enter the UK, the UK government made it possible for their pets to come too. In many cases, family pets were left in good hands in Poland, Germany or other EU countries, awaiting the relevant paperwork while their owners went on ahead.
Animalcouriers then collected the pets and transported them to the UK or to Calais for collection. Our road transport is free of charge to Ukrainian families, thanks to the generosity of donors, sponsors and our own couriers. Rereading these stories and reflecting on what these families have been through reminds us of how important our pets are to all of us, and how much joy, love and support they bring us.
We hope you enjoy this roundup on the runup to the festive season. We send our best wishes for a happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful new year to all our friends, followers and clients. And if you’d like to donate to help us continue our work with Ukrainian pets, check out this GoFundMe page.
A gorgeous chinchilla called Funtik was our very first Ukrainian pet passenger. Owner Daria got him as far as Germany, where he was given a clean bill of health and the right paperwork. We then took over and brought him to the UK for a reunion with Daria.
Big hugs for adorable little Funtik
In Warsaw, Poland we caught up with two splendid cats:
- Soloman for his journey to London and a reunion with Katya and family
- Oscar for his journey to England and a reunion with his owner, also called Katya
We then headed to Berlin to scoop up two more delightful cats, Tubik and Ilia, who belong to Max and Iana and their family.
Soloman with Katya and family in London
Katya in Warsaw with Oscar, ready for this journey
“Thank you everyone, cats and kids are happy” — and sent these super photos to prove it
Tubik and Ilia getting seriously hugged
Dubbed ‘the Calais 5’, we collected these adorable dogs and cats in April from Warsaw and got them as far as Calais, France, where they had to wait as all the UK quarantine kennels were full.
Ricci reunited with Olga in Dover
Liudmyla, owner of Snowy, Scruffy and Toffee, with her daughter and brother-in-law reunited with her cats at Dover
Yulia, Liza and Yelyzaveta at Dover, looking out for the ferry with their dog Leia on board
Dog Santa and cat Persek arrived in the UK with their owners Tania and her daughter Alina, where their sponsor Duncan was on hand to welcome them.
Tania and Alina arriving with gorgeous Santa
Following a poor experience with a Polish pet transporter for Cheeta and his family, Animalcouriers were pleased to step in and help get them reunited in the UK. We collected Cheeta from kennels at Calais and drove him to Manchester where his family and their sponsor, Patricia, were eagerly awaiting his arrival.
A happy reunion for Cheeta at last
We collected dear little Neo and his family, Daria, Danlyo and Kira, in Calais for their journey to Glasgow, where their sponsor was waiting to welcome them.
Danylo and Kira with little Neo in Calais
BBC One’s The One Show contacted Animalcouriers for help with a surprise reunion for tortoise Nimo with his owner Ilia. On fleeing Ukraine with his Mum Natalia and brother Roman, Ilia had been forced to leave Nimo in Poland.
Ilia with his beloved Nimo
We transported fancy rat Lili from Czechia to the UK for a reunion with her 10-year-old owner.
Kateryna’s dog Jessy and Yulianna’s cat Chucha travelled with us as far as Calais, where their owners’ UK sponsors collected them from us for their onward journeys.
Cats Markiza and Sima travelled with us to the UK for reunions with their respective owners, Anne and Anastasia.
And following their arduous journey from Mariupol, we collected Olha, her mum Daria and their dog Jessi in Calais.
Cute Lili reunited with her owner
Kateryna’s sponsors, Pat and David, collecting charming Jessy
Yulianna’s sponsors, Yvonne and Clive, collecting adorable Chucha
Glamorous Markiza on her way to Anne
Gorgeous Sima reunited with Anastasia in the UK
We were delighted to help reunite handsome cat Barsik with owner Valya at the home of her sponsor Ruth on Ukraine Independence Day!
Ruth told us: “I cannot put into words the joy you have given Valya on this Ukraine Independence Day. Thank you to all of you for your generosity and act of humanity.”