OkcPets Magazine January 2023

26 OKC Pets • January / February 2023 S ince February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, about 14 million people have fled their homes. The United Nations has reported that of the estimated six million-plus dogs and cats left behind, only several hundred thousand animals have crossed the borders safely to pet-friendly coun- tries such as Poland, Romania, Hungary, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland. Evacuation trains are accessible to civilians, but they charge exorbitant fees for animals. Many people who traveled long distances learned of the costs only after arriving at transportation centers. Their only option was to leave their pets behind in makeshift kennels near the stations with a note, hoping other people who passed through would take care of them. Firsthand accounts and imagery of the war are terrifying; people and their pets, sometimes whole kennels of dogs, hid in bombed-out basements while Russia destroyed their cities. The underground hideouts lacked electricity, food, and safe drinking water. Finding dog food was impossible, and many owners resorted to boiling mash to keep their pets alive. Finding a Way Out Tatyana Pikalova’s family, including her young granddaughters and dogs, were forced into underground hideouts while she arranged transportation out of Ukraine. As a breeder of Chinese SAFE HAVEN Ukrainian Refugee Dogs Find New Homes in Oklahoma by David Gallant OPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPO OPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOPOP At Lviv, Ukraine, Tatyana Pikalova’s granddaughters and two crates of Chinese Crested dogs take a break in their journey out of war-torn Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Tatyana Pikalova.