Sixteen cats landed this Wednesday morning at the port of Ajaccio. The latter traveled thousands of kilometers from Ukraine to be rescued by the Animal Assistance Foundation. At the dispensary in Corsica, they will be monitored, cared for and then offered for adoption.

It was around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning when the convoy of the animal assistance foundation (FAA) landed on the Port of Ajaccio. On board, sixteen cats from from Ukraine. Arrived Saturday at Parisafter 1,560 kilometers and 15.30 hours of driving between Krakowin Polandand the Francethe felines benefited from a few days of rest before leaving, still by car, for their final journey between Paris and Corsica.

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What was the life of these animals like before February 24 and the start of the war in Ukraine? The members of the foundation do not know it. Did they have a family? Probably, for some of them, given their sociability. While some people were able to leave the country accompanied by their four-legged friends, others had to resign themselves to leaving them behind. The cats are not microchipped but we will try, for each one, to distribute a photo in order to give their initial family a chance to recognize them and recover them., explains Brigitte Chirigoni, head of the FAA in Corsica and head of establishments at the national level. If this should not be the case, they will be placed for adoption on the island. They can be sponsored and reserved in the next few days, even if the final adoption will take place in several months.s.”

The cats crossed several countries to arrive on the island.  - Angelina Rosano

In quarantine

If these felines are the first to arrive on the island from Ukraine, others had already joined France at the initiative of the organization. A total of 60 dogs and 60 cats are now spread across France in the various partner shelters.

These animals, now safe from war and taken off the streets, will be cared for and then placed in solitary confinement for six months before they can be adopted. They do not have the necessary prerequisites to be imported into France, which is why they are quarantined. They will have a strict follow-up, with visits scheduled one month, three months, and six months after their arrival. They will then be vaccinated against rabies and that is when they will be able to join their adopters., explains Jacinta Savidan, veterinarian at the Corsican dispensary, equipped with overshoes and dressed in an overcoat to take no risk of contaminating the rest of the residents. After the first check-up, the veterinarian is satisfied to see animals “in fairly good condition”, with “a few small health concerns but no different from the stray cats here”. Coryza, gingivitis, a damaged ear, runny eyes and nose or a dirty coat are the first minor problems listed.

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Other animals were not so lucky: The Foundation, at the national level, has collected dogs and cats that have been injured, amputated or even enucleated because of the war.supports Brigitte Chirigoni.

The two veterinary assistants, Anthony and Choukri, crossed France in order to recover the cats.  - Doc CM

Rescues and donations

To carry out this rescue, the Foundation contacted a Polish refuge, which is linked to a refuge in Ukraine. The latter transports stray animals to a transit point in Poland in order to bring them to safety. A convoy then left Paris to go to Krakow to pick up the new little ones protected by the animal protection foundation.

For their part, Anthony and Choukri, veterinary assistants at the Baleone dispensary, crossed France to collect the sixteen cats destined for Corsica. In their vans, departing from Ajaccio, a cargo of various donations in the form of equipment and food to help the refuges on the Ukrainian border.

Sixteen cats arrived this Wednesday in Corsica from Ukraine.  - Angelina Rosano

The cats will stay ten days in the glass cages of the dispensary before joining a refuge near Ajaccio for the next six months. Finally, peace and quiet for these little war refugees. “It was important to help them. If necessary, we will return to Poland”, projects Brigitte Chirigoni. Other needy people could eventually join the first lucky ones.