In early May 2022, a flight of 166 Ukrainian refugees landed on the St. John’s International Airport in Canada. But they weren’t alone as a result of 11 pets (3 canines and eight cats) got here alongside. The individuals couldn’t go away their furry buddies behind, so that they didn’t hop on a flight till they knew their pets may be a part of them.

The Ukrainians and their pets have been welcomed with open arms in Newfoundland and Labrador, and lots of different Ukrainian pet dad and mom are hoping to make the journey there too. Here are the tales of the pets’ adventures.


Local Welcomes Stranger and Pets to Her Home

Hanna Sukhinets made a protracted, difficult journey along with her cat named Margo and her medium-sized canine named Dea. The trio fled from Ukraine to Newfoundland and Labrador by taking a prepare, then a bus, and eventually, the aircraft. Sadly, her husband and their older canine are nonetheless in Ukraine.

Sukhinets shortly fell in love with Newfoundland and Labrador. As a canine lover, she couldn’t resist a spot with the names of two canine breeds. But additionally, she may inform it was a spot the place she and her furry buddies may really feel secure. So, she turned to social media to see if she may discover a place to remain as soon as her aircraft arrived.

RELATED: Fleeing Ukrainians Struggle To Cross U.S. Border With Their Dogs

Ukrainian woman hugging dog

Lori Best, who lives close to St. John’s, noticed the publish and provided an area in her house. Even although Best and Sukhinets have been strangers after they first linked, they quickly felt like household after speaking for some time. When they lastly met on the airport, they have been each very emotional.

“When I saw the big dog carrier, I knew it was her and I started running towards her and gave her a great big hug and had some tears,” mentioned Best.

Sukhinets is grateful that she and two of her pets have been capable of make it to security. She mentioned she couldn’t think about leaving them behind. However, she’s nonetheless frightened about her husband and different canine, who haven’t left Ukraine.

Ukrainian woman hugging cat

Cats Leave Ukraine for the First Time

Two felines named Bella and Simba have been on the identical flight as Sukhinets and her pets. Their people, Olga and Ivan Antoniuk, owned an actual property firm in Ukraine, however enterprise stopped when the Russian invasion started, so that they determined to go away.

13-year-old Bella had by no means left her residence in Ukraine, so touring along with her wasn’t simple. She’s a skittish cat with kidney illness, and due to her age and situation, she couldn’t take anti-anxiety treatment as Simba may. Leaving Ukraine meant a number of stress for the aged cat, and the household wanted to pack a number of particular cat meals.

RELATED: Man & Dog Walk 140 Miles To Safety Across Russian-Occupied Ukraine

Couple flying with cats

Yet, Olga and Ivan knew that leaving Ukraine was the most suitable choice for all of them. So, they drove to Poland earlier than hopping on the flight to St. John’s. After a number of litter field stops on the best way, they made it to the airport and flew to Newfoundland and Labrador with the 2 cats.

“I think it’s so crazy. The free chartered flight, free hotel here, free food here for us, and free food for my cats,” Olga mentioned. “I [can’t] describe this kindness for us and for our pets.”

Many individuals welcomed the couple and their cats when the aircraft landed. Olga and Ivan have been in shock however very grateful for everybody’s kindness.

RELATED: Polish Rescuers Run In And Out Of War-Torn Ukraine Saving Animals

Ukraine cats in hotel

More Ukrainians Plan to Fly There

People in Newfoundland and Labrador proceed to host Ukrainians and their pets by serving to them catch flights and discover locations to remain. There’s even a Facebook group to arrange these travels.

Many different pet dad and mom have posted within the Facebook group, expressing curiosity in coming to Canada from Ukraine. It’s heartwarming to see what number of households are refusing to go away their pets behind and what number of strangers are prepared to assist enhance these individuals’s lives.

Featured Image: Facebook

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