Ukrainian refugee reunites with beloved Pomeranian

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SAN DIEGO, CA (NBC 7 San Diego/WHEC) — A Ukrainian refugee separated from her Pomeranian at the U.S.-Mexico border, in order for the dog to complete a required 28-day rabies quarantine, reunited with her precious pooch at the San Diego Humane Society Sunday.

The beloved Pomeranian, named Perseya, was taken to SDHS on April 30 where she served her quarantine and was cared for at SDHS’s Behavior Center for enrichment. During Perseya’s stay, staff provided her owner with regular updates, including a video translated into Ukrainian by an SDHS staff member.

Perseya’s owner is from the Cherkasy region in Ukraine and arrived in Mexico with her husband, mother and dog and entered the United States via the San Ysidro Point of Entry. In April, SDHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) partnered to make it possible for Ukrainian refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to bring their pets with them.

“Pets are family, and families should never be forced apart,” said SDHS president and CEO Gary Weitzman, DVM. “As soon as the war broke out in Ukraine, we began looking for ways to support people with pets and the animals left behind by this tragedy. When we heard that Ukrainian pets were getting stopped at the border – right in our own backyard – we immediately wanted to help. Our goal is to get these animals safely across the border and back to their families as quickly as possible. We’ll do whatever we can to help the animals and people impacted by this tragic crisis.”

The effort to support Ukrainian refugees entering the U.S. came a month after SDHS President Gary Weitzman, DVM, deployed with Greater Good Charities to Poland on a mission to provide veterinary care and help the International Fund for Animal Welfare set up a border crossing veterinary clinic to support pets impacted by the war in Ukraine.

SDHS will continue to work with the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to transport and quarantine Ukrainian pets as needed. To learn more about SDHS’s "Ukrainian Companion Animal Support Program," click the link here.