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Cat rescued from Ukraine reunited with owner in Arkansas

After nearly losing hope, Larysa was overcome with gratitude for those who helped save her cat from Ukraine. (Source: Humane Society International)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 2:03 PM EDT
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ARKANSAS (Gray News) – Humane Society International has been working on the ground in Poland, Romania, Germany and Italy helping people with pets of people fleeing the war when they learned about a cat in Ukraine that was separated from her owner.

Persik’s owner, Larysa, was in the United States when the war in Ukraine started, while her cat was staying with her cousin in Odessa.

According to Humane Society International, Larysa’s cousin managed to evacuate Persik, which means “Peach” in Ukrainian, with a friend who fled to Warsaw.

Persik was fully vaccinated, had a pet passport and was microchipped.

Kelly Donithan, director of animal disaster response for Humane Society International, got special approval to carry the cat with her as she flew home to the U.S.

She was able to connect with Larysa in Arkansas and reunite Persik with its mom.

HSI is helping a Ukrainian family who live in the U.S. to be reunited with their cat, Persik,...
HSI is helping a Ukrainian family who live in the U.S. to be reunited with their cat, Persik, who was rescued from Odessa, Ukraine. The cat's owners were living in the U.S. when the war broke out, and their cat was in Odessa with their cousin. The cousin evacuated the cat to Warsaw, Poland, and eventually Persik was given to HSI animal rescue team staff member, Kelly Donithan, who flew with him back to the U.S. Persik was then reunited with his family in Arkansas.(Kelly Donitahn/HSI)

“This single story of one cat, Persik, is emblematic of what Humane Society International has seen through the chaos and trauma of this war: strangers and communities coming together to help one another however they can, including beloved animals,” Donithan said.

After nearly losing hope, Larysa said she was overcome with gratitude for those who helped save her cat from Ukraine.

“I had to make a lot of efforts in order to find a person in difficult circumstances during the hostilities in Ukraine who agreed to take the cat out of Ukraine, and now, by the grace of God, the cat is in my home with love and care,” Larysa said.

“It is a painful and horrific time, but all of these small acts of kindness are keeping and bringing families together when they need it most,” Donithan said. “Even during the darkest times, it is clear how much pets mean to their families.”

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