As a small business in San Francisco, it feels that there is not very much we can do to influence events in Ukraine. But we are proud to be doing what we can!
What Pet Camp is doing to help pets from Ukraine
Over the last week, Pet Camp has been contacted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (what we all call CDC) to see if we could help two Ukrainian refugee families that fled Ukraine and managed to make it to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with their dogs. As if having your homeland invaded and being forced to flee to safe haven wasn’t enough to worry about, the Ukraine is on the CDC rabies watch and the families could not take their dogs with them when they arrived in the United States!
When an animal arrives by air illegally in the United States, it is the obligation of the airline to solve the problem. By luck or by the grace of G-d, the first family arrived on Air France and an Air France employee learned of the situation and called his husband – a Pet Camp counselor – to see if we would help out. After a quick “of course” conversation, Michelle spent that afternoon and the next morning working with Susan Dwyer at the CDC. By late afternoon, an Air France employee was in our lobby delivering Barney, a very cute Yorkie.
Just 2 days later, Susan called Pet Camp looking for Michelle because a 7-year-old Pomeranian, Ambassador, had arrived from the Ukraine via Air Lingus. A few short hours later, an Air Lingus employee was at Pet Camp with Ambassador.
What happens once these dogs from Ukraine arrive at Pet Camp?
We get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for a wellness check and a Rabies vaccine (and any other missing vaccinations). Why do we rush them to a veterinarian? Because the dogs cannot be released from “quarantine” until at least 45 days after the Rabies vaccine is given. On day 45, we can take them back to the veterinarian for a titer test to confirm that there are Rabies antibodies present at acceptable levels. During the 45-days the dogs are at Pet Camp, they are not allowed to interact with other dogs, so they are enrolled in our K9 Enrichment program where they get oodles of time interacting with the counselors.
Before you ask, we are proud to be able to offer these Ukrainian families free pet care while they take refuge. We want to also thank the folks at Mission Pet Hospital for both fitting in these last-minute appointments and offering us reduced costs on the required rabies vaccines and other necessary veterinary care. We are committed to doing what we can to help Ukrainians forced to flee their homes with their pets. We, like them, cannot imagine leaving our pets behind.
We don’t know how many more dogs and cats the CDC will ask us to care for; but we know that we will not say no. We’ll keep you posted as things progress and, if you are so inclined and circumstances warrant, we’ll let you know of ways that you can help.
Thanks for reading and thanks for supporting all those impacted by this terrible war.
Pet Camp is proud to be an active member of the San Francisco small business community. Our actions in caring for these pets from Ukraine reflect our broader vision that one can be an engaged and caring member of the community while still operating a successful small business. As San Francisco’s most award winning pet care facility, we are confident that we can provide your pet with overnight care, doggie day care, dog training, bathing and pet transportation while still representing our core values.