Dogs and cats of war: How pets are helping to calm people fleeing

As Ukrainians are forced to leave their country, their animals are bringing them comfort and joy on their tough journey

Elizabeth Hissa and her mother Oksana, fled the besieged city of Mykolaiv, with their cats, Milka, Persig and Monica. Picture by David Conachy

Maeve Sheehan

Elizabeth Hissa sits on a camp bed piled with blankets in a warehouse in Korczowa, Poland, talking animatedly about the tense evacuation from the war: the lights flashing in distant towns under bombardment, the rush through the Ukrainian countryside, the cries of fear, the hiding under seats.