San Diego Nonprofit, CDC Partner to Help Ukrainian Pets Cross Border

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
May 2, 2022 Updated: May 2, 2022

SAN DIEGO—The San Diego Humane Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on May 2 they have partnered to allow Ukrainian refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to bring their pets with them.

The nonprofit transported the first dog from Ukraine across the border at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on April 30, and humane officers are available to transfer more dogs as needed.

The dog was taken to San Diego Humane Society late on April 30. The next day, the organization’s veterinary team performed an exam on the dog and administered vaccines and flea medication.

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The first Ukrainian dog transported by the San Diego Humane Society arrives in San Diego on April 30, 2022. (Courtesy of San Diego Humane Society)

According to the veterinarians, overall, the dog is in good health. She will now be cared for at the organization’s Behavior Center for enrichment and socialization, while on a 28-day rabies quarantine, before she can be reunited with her family.

“Pets are family, and families should never be forced apart,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, San Diego Humane Society president and CEO. “As soon as the war broke out in Ukraine, we began looking for ways to support people with pets and the animals left behind by this tragedy.

“When we heard that Ukrainian pets were getting stopped at the border—right in our own backyard—we immediately wanted to help,” he said. “Our goal is to get these animals safely across the border and back to their families as quickly as possible. We’ll do whatever we can to help the animals and people impacted by this tragic crisis.”

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A photo of the first Ukrainian dog transported by the San Diego Humane Society under examination in San Diego on May 1, 2022. (Courtesy of San Diego Humane Society)

Last month, Weitzman deployed with Greater Good Charities to Poland on a mission to provide veterinary care and help the International Fund for Animal Welfare set up a border crossing veterinary clinic to support pets impacted by the war in Ukraine.

The organization said it will continue to work with the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to transport and quarantine Ukrainian pets as needed.

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The first Ukrainian dog transported by the San Diego Humane Society is playing in the nonprofit’s dog yard in San Diego on May 1, 2022. (Courtesy of San Diego Humane Society)