BBC presenter, Clive Myrie, questions whether evacuating Ukrainians should take their cats with them

Clive Myrie is a talented and admired BBC news presenter and journalist. And rightly so. He is a top-quality presenter and in my view one of the best that the BBC has. He might be the best.

Clive Myrie presenting from Kyiv, Ukraine during the invasion

Clive Myrie presenting from Kyiv, Ukraine during the invasion. Image: BBC.

But I think that he has inadvertently made a mistake which upsets me slightly. He’s been presenting the news from Ukraine during the invasion by Putin’s forces on the rooftop of a building in the middle of the capital Kyiv. As usual he’s done a wonderful job and he’s been partnered by Lyse Doucet, another excellent senior reporter and journalist.

He’s had to evacuate Ukraine for Romania out of his own safety because Russian troops are clearly about to enter Kyiv or that is their belief. He had to travel overland like any other evacuee going south to Moldova and then to Romania.

He reports on this perilous and arduous journey on MSN News. It took him 17 hours to get to the Moldova frontier where he arrived at a queue to cross from Moldova to Romania. It took him eight hours to travel less than 2 miles to cross into Romania. He was welcomed by a sign saying: “If you are Ukrainian you have the right to enter Romania and you will be protected!”

Fantastic. And at that moment he reflected on the lives of Ukrainian evacuees because he had experienced what it was like. And he reports as follows:

“It was a long, day of driving and queuing to get out of Kyiv. Imagine having to leave all you know in a hurry because you’re being shelled,’ he continued. What do you pack? Do pets come too? It’s freezing cold and you pray those in neighbouring countries will welcome you, not despise you!”

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Do pets come too? That’s the bit I don’t like. PETA wouldn’t like it either as they have urged evacuees to not abandon their pets. There is no alternative but to bring your companion animal with you. If you don’t, you abandon them in a war zone with a near certainty that they will starve to death or be killed by shells and bombs. Or they will freeze to death. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

Clive Myrie cannot question whether you leave your cat behind to that kind of fate. There is no choice. If you have a cat or dog, they are part of your family and they come with you, come what may.

And a lot of Ukrainians, hopefully the vast majority, have the same opinion. I’ve seen lots of cats and dogs being transported out of Ukraine to the border with Poland by evacuees. Some of them without carriers which looks very precarious with a much-reduced chance of success for the cats.

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A family of five, two parents, two children and their dog in a carrier, were shelled by Putin’s forces as they ran, fleeing from this damnable war. The mother and the two children were killed. The father was injured and the dog was left barking frantically in the carrier on the street. We do not know what happened to the animal and we hope that he or she survived and is now being cared for.

Clive Myrie is a great guy but he made a mistake in questioning whether Ukrainian evacuees should take their pets with them.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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