Humane management of cat and dog populations in Ukraine


Humane management of cat and dog populations in Ukraine

3 November 2023
Four Paws
In the early days of the war in 2022, Eurogroup for Animals and its members reached out to other organisations working in Ukraine to set up a Task Force for companion animals in this country.

The initial objective of the Task Force was to identify what was needed in order to ensure welfare of companion animals overthere, and to increase information sharing between the international NGOs working in Ukraine. 

The Task Force members have a long history of helping animals in Ukraine: FOUR PAWS has been present on the ground since 2012, Deutscher Tierschutzbund e.V. has been working in Odesa since 2000, Naturewatch Foundation since 1994. Others, such as GGI and Save the Dogs and other animals, have been present since the very first days of Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine.

We strive for systemic changes for animals in Ukraine and we are here to help in the long run. That also holds true during the war and the difficulties, which come with it”

Luca Secker, Scientific Officer for Companion Animals, Deutscher Tierschutzbund

The Task Force members have put in place many programmes to help alleviate the suffering of cats and dogs as a result of prolonged warfare. However, they agree that some of the solutions should focus on systemic change in Ukraine, rather than ad hoc responses to current problems. Cat and dog humane population management is one of the major tasks requiring systemic change because as long as people own dogs and cats, there will always be a need to manage their populations

The members identified three areas, on which population management in Ukraine should focus: 

  • Supporting the identification and registration of cats and dogs in Ukraine.
  • Supporting evidence-based cat and dog sterilisation programmes for owned and unowned animals.
  • Advising on minimum standards for shelters.


To find out more about our vision, read our opinion on cat and dog population management in Ukraine (also available in Ukrainian). The Task Force details in this document what could be done now by all the stakeholders to achieve better welfare for cats and dogs in Ukraine.

The approach requires the close involvement of the competent authorities, veterinary professionals and paraprofessionals to ensure the highest level of animal health, and welfare and to minimise risks to public health. 

If you would like to find out more about the Task Force or to join our work, reach out at