Irish government asks Ukrainian refugees relocating to Ireland to leave their pets behind

The Irish government is asking Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing to Ireland to leave their pets behind as the accommodation crisis sharpens this winter, reports The Irish Independent.

According to the Irish Independent, the Department of Integration has liaised with the Ukrainian ambassador to advise people fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine not to bring their cats and dogs with them, as the Irish State cannot guarantee them accommodation.

Ukrainians arriving in Ireland with pets are being asked to find alternative accommodation for them, such as with charities like the ISPCA. Furthermore, refugees fleeing the invasion are also being asked not to acquire pets when they arrive in Ireland, with the Department of Integration considering charging people a contribution fee if they do want their pets to be housed.

The Irish government expects approximately 70,000 refugees to come into the country by the end of the year. Currently, there are approximately 59,000 Ukrainians in Ireland, with the state providing accommodation for approximately 47,000. Accommodation is being provided through hotels, guesthouses and pledged accommodation. Members of the public have also offered accommodation to refugees.

A refugee and her pet cat at the Ukrainian-Romanian border (image: The Independent/Associated Press)

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