Odessa's owner, wearing a blue jacket, holds Odessa in a blanket with her son comforting her

Odessa is now safe and warm

Chilled to the bone but miraculously safe, Odessa arrived at Ukraine’s border with Romania as the dachshund’s family fled the atrocities of war.

Odessa being held by the grandmother in a tent to help Ukrainian refugees
Odessa and family receiving help

Their home was razed to the ground in the Russian onslaught in the besieged city of Mykolaiv in the south of the country earlier this year.

Leaving behind a lifetime of memories, Odessa’s family – a son, his mother and grandmother – arrived with only what they could carry on the perilous journey to escape the bombardment.

The family were given humanitarian aid by authorities at the border and, thanks to Save the Dogs – a charity supported by Blue Cross’s Ukraine appeal – Odessa also received help.

Odessa was given a dog coat to keep out the cold, food and an animal carrier – an essential for families fleeing Ukraine with their pets as it enables them to continue their onward journey.

Gregg Tully, Country Director for Save the Dogs in Romania, says: “Our team met Odessa’s human family during one of the worst times in their lives – they had finally escaped Ukraine but didn’t know if they would ever go back or see the people they’d left behind. 

“We were able to give them reassurance and show compassion for them and their four-legged family member.”

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross, adds: “One of the major difficulties faced by refugees leaving their destroyed homes behind them is how to transport their pets. 

“To resolve this problem, in addition to distributing food, bowls, coats and blankets for the animals, Save the Dogs team members have also been handing out pet carriers. 

“This basic but essential item can make a world of difference for those wishing to continue their journey and take their pets with them. With this same objective in mind, they have also been collaborating with the Bucharest airport authorities to ensure they can continue delivering pet carriers that can be stored at the airport.”

Almost seven million refugees have fled Ukraine since the start of the war in February, many of them travelling with their much-loved pets. 

Blue Cross will continue to help these animals, who are treasured family members and are too victims of this devastating conflict.

— Page last updated 20/06/2022