Several Indian students who returned from Ukraine have brought back their pet dogs and cats along, refusing to leave their cherished companions behind in the tumult of the Russian war.
Arya, a student at National Pirogov Memorial Medical University in Vinnytsya in Ukraine, carried her Siberian Husky Zairaa with her during the evacuation process, pleading to the authorities to allow Zairaa on the flight with her.
Arya had arranged for her travel before the war broke out, as per a report in Times Of India. She had got her dog around a year and a half ago.
Zahid, another student who returned in the Indian Air Force's C-17 Aircraft said that he brought his friend's dog along, as per news agency ANI.
Gautam, who was stuck in Kyiv, said that his pet cat had been with him for the past four months, and that they crossed Poland together, before finally making it to India safe and sound.
This comes after the Ministry for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, in a memorandum issued on Wednesday, 2 March, allowed for the movement of the pets across the borders as a one-time exemption.
"Considering unique and extraordinary situations on war-hit Ukraine wherein pre-expert requisite formalities for export of pets into India may not be fulfilled, the import of pet dogs and/or pet cats along with stranded Indians being rescued by the Government of India is being facilitated as a one-time relaxation measure as under," the statement by the ministry read.
(With inputs from Times of India and ANI.)