Thousands of individuals fleeing the onset of violence in Ukraine are travelling and crossing borders with their beloved pets, thanks to Romania, Poland, and Hungary relaxing regulations and allowing animals to be transported without vet papers.

Peacetime limits for moving pets across borders need several factors. According to the animal rights organisation, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, cats and dogs must be vaccinated, microchipped, and have a negative rabies blood test (PETA).

However, Romania, Poland, and Hungary, the three countries receiving the majority of Ukrainians, have opted to remove pet regulations so that people can pass without fear.

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In Romania, an emergency exemption, suspension of immunisation, microchipping, and paperwork requirements have been implemented. However, a human may only transport up to five pets.

Polish and Hungarian authorities have done the same, replacing the rules with a single ‘transition form’ that anyone arriving from Ukraine must fill out.

A 21-year-old medical student who arrived in Poland with his two kitties voiced his anguish over the current scenario. “This is a beautiful nation. It breaks my heart knowing it will be destroyed,” he stated.

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PETA Germany is arranging the delivery of 20,000 kgs of dog and cat food to Ukraine, among other things. The organisation is organising blankets and other necessities for people who are still stuck in the warzone with their pets.

A third-year engineering student from India, who has been in Ukraine since the commencement of the Russian onslaught, has stated that he will not leave without his dog.

Rishabh Kaushik, a student at Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics in east Ukraine, said he has been attempting to complete the papers necessary to transport his dog before being evacuated out of the country.

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However, officials have requested an excessive number of papers for approval.

“They’re requesting my plane ticket. How can I get a plane ticket while Ukraine’s airspace is closed?” Kaushik said.

According to the student, he contacted the Indian government’s Animal Quarantine and Certification Service (AQCS) in Delhi as well as the Indian consulate in Ukraine.

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Kaushik said in a video posted on social media that someone at Delhi’s IGI airport refused to comply and instead insulted him.

“I would have been in India right now if the Indian government had issued me the needed NOC (no objection certificate) by the regulations,” he explained.