Ukrainian Refugee Reunites With Dog After Quarantine

A Ukrainian refugee and her beloved Pomeranian were reunited on Sunday, May 29, after the dog completed a required 28-day quarantine.

The dog, named Perseya, was separated from her owner at the US-Mexico border and taken to the San Diego Humane Society late on April 30. She served her quarantine and was cared for at the society’s Behavior Center.

Perseya’s owner is from the Cherkasy region in Ukraine. She arrived in Mexico with her husband, mother and dog and entered the United States via the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the San Diego Humane Society said.

In April, the San Diego Humane Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention partnered to make it possible for Ukrainian refugees crossing the US-Mexico border to bring their pets with them. “Pets are family, and families should never be forced apart,” said San Diego Humane Society president and CEO Gary Weitzman. Credit: San Diego Humane Society via Storyful

Video transcript

- You look nice and ready for your mama? You look so beautiful? Yes. OK, we're going to see mama. We're going to see your mama. Yay. Are you excited? Here we go. We're just going to-- OK. OK, we're going to see you outside.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

[DOG YIPPING EXCITEDLY]

She traveled the whole time like this.

- That-- that really is adorable.

- Like this, and all this.

- That is-- can I take a picture?

- Of course.

- Can I take a--

- So when I first time saw her after this long time, distance between us, I felt something warm on my heart and my soul because this is very big part of our life, of our family, of my heart. I love her so much.

I felt myself very quiet, calm, how to say, because she is near, I see her, she is in good shape, she looks very well. And she's healthy, and that is very important for me. And just now, I am calm down, I'm so quiet-- quiet. Everything is good just because a little bit nervous. [LAUGHS] But I feel myself very calm right now.

Of course, it was very hard when first time I heard about 29 days-- or maybe, no, 30 days I will not see her. That was terrible. I counted every day. Every day, I told that soon we will see soon. We will see. I tried not to think about her because it was very hard for me. I cried all the time when I see her photos or videos in my telephone. But now everything is ahead us.

And of course, we are together. And this is the most beautiful-- I don't know, what can I get during this month in USA for me. This the best present for me, to take her back. She looks very good. She ate. It's great. Here work special people. I don't know how they do-- how they did this.

But she ate, she ate very good. She looks very nice, better than she was. I joke. Yes, so thank you so much for this. Thank you so much for caring her, for her being now in good shape, looks very well. I wish you all the best for you great deal. Really, she looks perfect.

Yes, of course. I'm excited that I'm leaving now not alone, with her. This is great news for us, for our family, for all our relatives who are waiting for this moment to see her on video. Yes. Very happy. Happy so much. It's our family, little-- little pumpkin. [GIGGLES]

- We're celebrating that we're reuniting a wonderful dog with her owner and taking a little bit of the frustration that we're all feeling about the war going on in Ukraine and turning it into a happy celebration today. So it's a great day, it really is. I think we all felt the same way. We all felt great. This is just so wonderful. We feel this every time we see someone adopt an animal or come in and get medical care and leave happy that their animal is OK.

But in this case, to have somebody that actually had to give up her dog for a month and has an uncertain future here in the United States. But now they're together, and it's just-- it's incredible to see this. This is a good day. This is a really good day because this is the first-- the first reunion that we've had. We were hoping that San Diego Humane Society would have a dozen, two dozen dogs and cats come across the border. But it's difficult at the border.

But right now, we've got a program that's a partnership with the CDC and with Customs and Border Protection, so we can be open for business. Anybody that needs help at that border can call San Diego Humane, we'll get their animal, we'll hold onto that animal, and take care of him. We will do medical exams and anything we need to. And then, hopefully, we'll get a good day like today that we can get them back to their owner.

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