The San Diego Humane Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday they have partnered to allow Ukrainian refugees crossing the U.S.-Mexico border to bring their pets with them.
SDHS transported the first dog from Ukraine across the border at the San Ysidro Point of Entry this weekend, and humane officers are available to transfer more dogs as needed.
The dog was taken to the SDHS late on Saturday. The next day, SDHS' veterinary team performed an exam on the dog, administered vaccines and flea medication.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
According to the organization's veterinarians, overall, the dog is in good health. She will now be cared for at SDHS' Behavior Center for enrichment and socialization, while on a 28 day rabies quarantine, before she can be reunited with her family.
"Pets are family, and families should never be forced apart,'' said Dr. Gary Weitzman, San Diego Humane Society president and CEO. "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,'' he said. "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.''
Last month, Weitzman 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 said it will continue to work with the CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to transport and quarantine Ukrainian pets as needed.