Many pet parents can be seen bringing their pets — dogs, cats, and fish — with them during evacuation operations in war-torn Ukraine, considering them to be family and unwilling to abandon them. Arya Aldrin, a 20-year-old Indian student who is traveling with her dog, a Siberian Husky called Zaira, is one of these pet parents.
Arya, a native of Kerala’s Idukki district who is studying medicine at Vinnytsya’s National Pirogov Memorial Medical University, was caught in the middle of the Russian invasion in Ukraine. And, like other Indian students in the country, she decided not to leave Zaira, her Husky puppy, behind when she was forced to leave the university and go to the neighbouring country for safety. So, while the rest of the students were out looking for food and water, Arya was busy preparing documentation for Zaira’s safe trip to India and packing the minimal essentials.
While heading to the Romanian border, Arya and her friend took turns holding the dog. Arya even abandoned most of her bags and food packs to be able to take Zaira with her to reduce the weight on her.
Finally, all her hardships were worth it, since she was allowed to board the plane to Kerala with Zaira.
V Sivankutty, the Kerala Education Minister, confirmed on social media that she is from Vandiperiyar in Kerala’s Idukki district.
In a Facebook post he wrote, ‘“Arya, a native of Vandiperiyar, returned to Indian soil from the battlefield without abandoning her pet dog. The world seeks growth through love,”
Meanwhile, Felcan Pets Relocation, a Bengaluru-based pet relocation firm, has been aiding Rishabh Kaushik, 21, who is attempting to move Maliboo, his dog, to Dehradun from Ukraine. Kaushik is a third-year software engineering student at the Kharkiv National University of Radio Electronics.
Maliboo was saved from the streets by a local citizen and adopted by him. Despite submitting various paperwork, he has had difficulty obtaining authorization for Maliboo’s travel. “I have my family members to take care of me. But I am Maliboo’s whole family. Even if he is left in a dog shelter, shelter managers will run away if attacks intensify. I have taken up his responsibility, I will take care of him no matter what happens”, he said.