Ukrainian Refugees Find Shelter and a Hearty Welcome For Their Pets in Romania

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SUCEAVA, Romania — Viktor and Rachel Borovic were very grateful to be given a hot meal at a church in Suceava after they crossed from Ukraine into Romania, but they had to turn down the offer of a bed for the night. Their dog, Busia, and their cat, Coco, named after Coco Chanel, were not allowed to stay.

So the couple took the animals to a shelter that had been set up in the ballroom of the Mandachi Hotel and Spa, which was known for welcoming dogs, cats and any other beloved pets that Ukrainian refugees brought with them.

Stefan Mandachi, the owner, had already posted on his Facebook page that “all pets are welcome here.” Mr. Mandachi, who has eight dogs, two cats and two pigs, arranged for a veterinarian to come to the shelter at 8 p.m. on Saturday to issue the required animal passports and identity chips, which are inserted under the skin.

The Borovics were headed to Israel, where their son lives, but they did not want to leave until their pets had the necessary documents. So they stayed an extra day in Suceava to fill out the paperwork and make sure their animals had the chips.

Not every pet was happy to cooperate, as was evident by the bandage on the thumb of another pet owner, Igor Korolev.

“I held her while they inserted the chip and she bit me,” Mr. Korolev said of his cat, Murka. “But that’s understandable.” Mr. Korolev, who left Ukraine with his wife and three children a few days ago, was staying at the ballroom shelter.

The Borovics, who are engineers and came from Sumy in northeastern Ukraine, had only two hours to prepare to flee the city after a safe corridor was announced. But they were clear about what was important to them.

“We took our cat, our dog and our boots,” Mr. Borovic, 74, said.

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