Ukrainian rescued pets are looking for homes outside of Ukraine

  • 2023-01-26

“Zoopatrul Ukraine” volunteers started their activities in March of 2022 by rescuing animals in locked apartments. Quite a lot of people hurriedly evacuated when the invasion began, and not everyone had an opportunity to take their cat or dog; moreover, some people were sure that they would return home very quickly. Perhaps you have seen Zoopatrul actions on CNN or YouTube.

The goals of Zoopatrul include not only rescue of pets, but also their adoption to a new family. Now there are nearly 200 rescued animals in the Zoopatrul shelter (in Irpin, Bucha region), waiting for support and their own home. All of them have breathtaking and heartbreaking rescue stories and deserve to be heard and taken care of. 

France, Austria, and Poland have already met Ukrainian cats who suffered from the consequences of the occupiers' full-scale invasion. That was the beginning of the journeys of those animals, who were rescued by the NGO “Zoopatrul Ukraine” and found their new guardians outside of Ukraine. 

French influencer Clément Dumais (YouTube channel Hit the Road) visited Zoopatrul shelter in November. He dedicated part of his video about Ukraine to the volunteers’ activities. Thanks to his support, the organization received more than 30 adoption requests from potential French owners by the end of the year. Now the process of adoption is adjusted to conveniently and consistently accept applications from the foreign audience. 

The interview of the future guardians takes place in several stages: the first one is a written adoption request in the chat, and the second one is a video call. Whilst a pet undergoes all the required procedures for the journey, it is necessary to take into account all the rules and regulations related to crossing the border with the host country. They can be found on the official website of the State Service of Ukraine on food safety and consumer protection. 

The adoption department is committed to the responsible choice of the future owners: the team takes into account whether the decision was taken emotionally without the necessary approval of other family members and whether an applicant considered the time, opportunities, and budget to adopt a pet. 

The foreign guardian should also understand that the process of adoption may take 2-4 months because of the martial law, electricity outages in Ukraine, logistics, paperwork (preparation of both Ukrainian and the EU pet passports, chip insertment), and medical preparation (neutering, treatment of parasites, three stages of vaccination). 

At the stage of negotiations, the Zoopatrul adoption department regularly sends photo- and video reports about the chosen pet. The team also presents an adoption agreement for signature, instructs on how to create a safe home for the cat or dog (for instance, installation of special nets on windows), and consults about the list of goods needed for a new family member (litter box, special carriage, consumables, etc). The organization stands against keeping an animal in the office and does not allow the adoption of pets for commercial purposes. Usually, the future guardian pays for the preparation and transportation of the pet - it is perceived as confirmation of seriousness of purpose and ability to adopt a cat or dog. The price for documentation preparation varies from 30€ to 160€ depending on the state of health of a pet and the host country’s requirements. 

“We are going to optimize the adoption process as much as possible to find new homes for rescued pets. Those cats and dogs, who were injured or have been waiting for their guardians for a long time need your support and attention the most. Although Zoopatrul provides animals with both safe, comfortable surroundings and necessary treatment, the warmest and happiest place to live will always be home.”, says founder of the NGO “Zoopatrul Ukraine”, Dmytro Revnyuk.

About Zoopatrul Ukraine

Zoopatrul Ukraine is a non-governmental non-profit organization formed in March with the beginning of a full-scale invasion to rescue, evacuate, and treat war-affected animals. Currently specializes in full-cycle animal care: from rescue to adoption.

The staff members of the organization include about 20 people and 50 volunteers who rescue cats and dogs in danger. Zoopatrul Ukraine also has a clinic with a staff of qualified veterinarians. Since the beginning of its existence, the organization has already saved over 1000 animals and we are not going to stop. Currently, the organization is building the first modern animal shelter in Ukraine (Irpen) according to European standards, which will be able to shelter 150 dogs and 200 cats.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has awarded the organization in honor of International volunteer’s day. He calls on the international community to assist in the accomplishment of the ultimate goal - the rescue of pets, who became victims of war.

To pursue its goal to help more pets, Zoopatrul has opened a PayPal donation platform ([email protected]). Apart from financial support, you can help by adopting a pet within the framework of the organization’s adoption program

Zoopatrul’s social pages: Instagram, Facebook and YouTube channel.


Ukrainian rescued pets have found new homes in Europe

One-eyed Javelin waited all the journey patiently to meet the new exquisite toilet in his apartment in Paris. A cat with an injured paw named Grey kicked and bit us as soon as we tried to give him a sedative drug before his trip to Vienna. A cat named Luna backed up in a corner of her carrier and was sleeping calmly long before boarding the train from Kyiv to Przemyśl. That was the beginning of the journeys of those cats, who were rescued by the NGO “Zoopatrul Ukraine” and found their new guardians in Europe. France, Austria, and Poland were glad to meet our pets who suffered from the consequences of the occupiers' full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The process of adoption took 3 months. New families were waiting for their pets excitedly and we have received pleasant impressions from them for a couple of weeks already.

Javelin lost his eye because of an infection when he was left homeless. Grey fell out of the window and his hind legs were badly injured. Zoopatrul’s veterinarians literally put them back together again and were not sure whether the cat would be able to walk. Luna was found in a de-occupied Irpin with a severe eye infection. However, all these didn’t prevent cats from finding their new homes abroad. Javelin was the first who found his guardian. Thanks to Zoopatrul’s announcement on social media, Yevheniia Salnikova from Luhansk, who has been living in Paris for 15 years, noticed Javelin. She simply wrote a direct message on Instagram, passed all the stages of the process of foreign adoption and on the first of November she hugged her one-eyed fluffy friend. 

Now there are more than 100 pets in Zoopatrul shelter, waiting for support. All of them have breathtaking and heartbreaking rescue stories, and all of them deserve to be heard and taken care of. The organization has opened a donation platform via PayPal ([email protected]) where people can help them to continue functioning and provide support, therapy, and rehabilitation to rescued pets, especially because of the increasing number of animals that need help because of the upcoming cold winter period. Text of the overview of our actions is also attached. 


“Carriers brought Javelin together with the veterinarian between 4 and 5 in the morning. I had a very chaotic night. I was trying to sleep. I was waiting. When we met, volunteers opened a cage and said: “He is yours”. While we were walking upstairs, the veterinarian told me that Javelin hadn’t gone to the toilet the whole journey. He was waiting to come home and once he entered the apartment, he found his litter box. I was very pleased with him going to the toilet. I am lucky with him being so tender, well-mannered, and approachable. He had been a virtual cat for three months and then finally he became real. He is walking around the apartment, meowing, he is looking for me at night, and purring. And now I realize how much time passed between that little kitten in the photo and the cat Javelin here in Paris. Before he traveled 3000 km, all this seemed to be unreal. But it’s true. Javelin feels incredible here”, says Yevheniia, new guardian of Javelin. 

Before his arrival to Paris, Javelin was a “virtual cat” for Yevheniia. Adoption department of Zoopatrul Ukraine regularly sent Yevheniia videos with the cat and reported on his health. Volunteers gradually prepared all the documents and made all the vaccinations and procedures required for pets to travel abroad. Upon the request of Yevheniia, the Zoopatrul team organized veterinarian’s support during Javelin’s journey and carefully monitored the condition of the cat on the way to Paris. 

“According to the Agreement on adoption of Zoopatrul’s pets, we ask future guardians to set mosquito nets on the windows to prevent cats from falling out, especially if the apartment is on the high floor. I especially remember the first interview with Yevheniia, when she said that a special permission of the Paris City Hall is needed to set such a net because it could ruin the appearance of the building. In France, even for socks that you want to hang dry out on the balcony, you can get a reprimand from the management of the house”, adds the adoption coordinator of the NGO “Zoopatrul Ukraine”, Olga Guzii. 

That is not the only thing which can impress in Paris. For instance, the adoption process of homeless pets which cannot be found on the streets of the city. They usually live in shelters and waiting lists for adoption of dogs and cats are drawn out for years. There is a completely different situation in Ukraine. For Ukrainians it’s a common thing to adopt a cat from the street or to find a box with kittens somewhere near the lake and ask volunteers to help. There are no such cases in Europe. That is why Zoopatrul attracts the attention of an increasing number of people and doesn’t leave anyone indifferent, especially those who care for the lives of homeless pets suffered from the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by russian troops. 

“I found out about Zoopatrul because of that sad post telling about the cat left in a closed apartment, who died in a crib. After that I began to follow you and I decided that I could adopt a pet. Even though I have always dreamed about the Ukrainian cat, I was thinking about it a lot and I wasn’t sure about this decision. But as soon as that video was published, I began to check your Instagram account looking for rescued cats”, says Yevheniia Salnikova. 

“There were four kittens with eye-infection and their mother. Javelin was among those babies. A volunteer reached out to us. She had a butterfly net and helped to catch kittens. We managed to catch Javelin, his brother and mother. We were looking for the other two kids but we haven’t found them. Unfortunately, we couldn’t save the second because of the infection complications. Javelin had his eye removed and his mother is in the shelter in Irpin. By the way, she’s living in our cat-house, feeling great, and waiting for a new family”, adds co-founder of Zoopatrul, Anna Revnyuk. 

The Zoopatrul team prepared a special film about Javelin’s journey to Paris. 

Photo/video report about Javelin 

Javelin’s life in Paris (prepared by Yevheniia)


“I am from Rubizhne, Luhansk region. I had been studying and working there. I had a large house and a garage. I have been dreaming since my childhood to build a shelter for animals. The beginning of the war in 2014 ruined my plans and my dream receded into the background. I was working as a cooker on 1+1 (Ukrainian TV channel) for some time, but as the war started I moved to Austria. Since there is no opportunity to adopt a cat from the street here, I found Zoopatrul on Instagram, wrote to them and coordinator Olga got in touch with me. Soon a cat was transferred to me. I wanted to feel closer to Ukraine, and that is why I decided to help both me and a cat. I’ve known about Zoopatrul since the beginning of the war, I always wrote in direct messages when a pet was locked in the apartment, etc. And then I saw that you were looking for new families for pets and decided that I also want to adopt a cat. I chose Grey because he was abandoned with an injured paw. I thought that not everyone is ready to take care of such a cat, but here in my home he feels like a king. He sleeps all day. At night he’s running around an apartment, breaking cups with water on the table, always using his litter box, and behaving well. I tried to wash Grey only once, but he jumped out of the shower cabin and I decided to not repeat it to avoid unnecessary stress. Sometimes we go for a walk, he’s always by my side, he doesn’t run away and he knows when it is time to go home”, says the new guardian of Grey, Valeriia Molchanova. 

You can find Grey’s photo/video report here.


“I live in Poland. I work as a manager in Cisco and support non-governmental organizations dedicated to saving homeless pets (for example Stawiamy na Lapy, KTOZ). So the theme of abandoned pets is not new to me. One day I was living in Irpin and when I found out that the kitten named Luna is also from Irpin, I decided that we could help somehow and to adopt. The number of homeless pets has dramatically increased during the war and it may develop into a major problem if NGOs such as Zoopatrul don’t do anything. I do care about the increasing number of homeless pets in Ukraine. That is why I’m going to continue to help Zoopatrul. I have been monitoring the activities of the organization since the first days of the war when Zoopatrul was just a group of enthusiasts led by Dmytro Revnyuk. They rescued and fed pets left in locked apartments in Kyiv '', says new guardian of Luna, Nadia Litvinova. 

You can find Luna’s photo/video report here.

“We are going to adjust the adoption process as much as possible, find new families for more pets, primarily for injured cats and dogs, because there is no opportunity to keep them here. We also want to find guardians for those pets, who have been living in the shelter for a very long time. A lot of people have moved abroad with their cats and dogs, and there is no one left here to help. Fewer people here are ready to adopt, that is why we focus on the foreign countries to find new homes for as many animals as possible. We developed an action plan so that everyone from Europe can choose an animal they want to adopt from Ukraine. That is my goal. To find new homes for as many injured pets as possible because we have only one rehabilitation center in Kyiv and the Kyiv region for disabled pets. At the same time animals get hit by cars everyday”, says founder of the NGO “Zoopatrul Ukraine”, Dmytro Revnyuk.