Jacksonville Poland Animal Rescue Helps Ukrainian Pets

Florida Urgent Rescue works with European nonprofits to rescue and reunite animals and with their owners as they flee Ukraine.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Truckloads of food and other supplies are heading to the front lines to help some of the unforgettable — and even forgotten — faces of Ukraine’s turmoil.

Pets, some abandoned by their owners, need a little love and care.

“Some people are told, ‘You can’t put your dog on the train, there’s no room. So they are forced to choose between keeping their children and family in danger or leaving their pet behind. It’s a terrible decision to make,” said Mike Merrill.

He runs Florida Urgent Rescue, a non-profit organization that cares for animals affected by natural disasters.

He has been on the ground in cities following fires, floods and hurricanes and says what he sees on the border of Poland and Ukraine is the biggest humanitarian response he has. was a witness. He spoke to us from a border post where he works with non-profit European animal associations.

“They’ve never done this kind of mass disaster transport before. So I thought we might be able to add value and provide some assistance,” he told First Coast News.

Some families are arriving with their pets while shelters have become dumping grounds for those who leave their pets behind. Merrill says the CDC does not allow dogs to be flown from Ukraine to the United States, so he is trying to move them to Poland where transport to the United States is allowed.

“There’s a lot of red tape. Plus, with the different countries involved with their own rules and different languages, coordination is really a challenge,” Merrill said.

Her greatest need, and the easiest way for you to help, is to donate money. It will go to the purchase of food and other basic necessities that can be purchased immediately abroad.

For more information on Florida Urgent Rescue, click here.