Rescue dogs

Owners’ grief as Ukrainian rescue dogs are seized over rabies fears

A group of rescue dogs have been taken away over fears of rabies, leaving a patron of the Burton charity heartbroken. Paw Help Rescue and Adopt UK have teamed up with a rescue center in Ukraine to save dogs in this war-torn country.

The Burton-based charity had arranged for the dogs to be rescued from the war zone. However, after being relocated to the UK, officials questioned whether the animals had been blood tested for fear of rabies.

Elina Olifaruk, from Lviv, Ukraine, runs the charity and said she now faces £3,000 bills to keep them. She insists they have completed a three-month quarantine period and have been vaccinated against rabies.

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Blood tests were required before they could be admitted to the UK, says Ms Olifaruk. After passing border controls, the dogs were allowed to be housed.

But the dogs were later removed after the tests were questioned by British authorities. They have been quarantined again, devastating their new owners who face bills of thousands of pounds as the dog is detained for months.

Sarah-Louise Heslop, from Cheshire, rescued Bailey after seeing the dog on the charity’s social media campaign.

Elina Oliferuk from Paw Help UK Rescue and Adopt.

She told the BBC: “The owners are all clueless. Many of them have young children and they are trying to explain to them why their dog was taken away.”

Charity owners want the quarantine period reduced to 21 days.

Ms Olifaruk also wants to raise £30,000 to help pay for the costs of quarantining the animals. In the meantime, the charity cannot bring in other animals from the invaded country. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has introduced a scheme for Ukrainian refugees with pets which excludes them from paying to bring them to the UK, reports The Mirror.

Christine MiddleMiss, UK’s Chief Veterinarian, said: “Checks have confirmed that these animals have not received the necessary blood tests to enter the UK.

“We are taking swift action to limit the risk of the disease spreading by quarantining all animals involved in this matter until further notice. We appreciate the cooperation of the households involved and encourage the public to contact us with any questions. information they may have. Animals that are not vaccinated properly pose a real threat to our own beloved animals and to humans, as well as impacting the rabies-free status we have held for many years.”

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