Ukrainian rescue cat becomes regular at local British pub and ‘never wants to leave’

When Wendy Lloyd, travelled to Ukraine on a mission to help displaced people, she didn’t expect to start doing animal rescue.

But the 41-year-old from Birmingham couldn’t help but form an attachment to a three-legged cat, whose chances of surviving were so slim, the overrun shelter he was at hadn’t even named him.

Wendy had found him high up in the mountains at the make-shift shelter, where a sole woman was taking care of 40-50 animals. As missiles flew overhead, a terrified Wendy held onto the cat, who seemed to be the only one not panicking.

In that moment, Wendy decided to call him Rocket and bring him home to Birmingham with her

In the Ukraine-Russia conflict, pet owners fleeing the war had no choice to either set the animals free or lock them up at home with food to last as long as possible.

Rocket was one of the pets freed onto the streets. He lost his leg when a car hit him as families were fleeing the conflict.

Wendy rescued this cutie from Ukraine

Since the harrowing events, Rocket has received treatment and has found a forever home with Wendy in Birmingham. He even frequents the local pub with her, where he’s loved by the other regulars.

Now, Rocket feels right at home with his new owner – and the pair are even going on holiday together.

‘He’s driving with me to Greece this week for a holiday,’ Wendy told

Wendy got Rocket the treatment he needed

Wendy, who owns The Classic Scooter Company, is part of a network of volunteers helping Ukrainians fleeing the frontline of the war.

Though she is now back in Birmingham, she plans to travel to Ukraine again in a few months.

She adds: ‘I’m going back at Christmas to take toy donations to an orphanage. My friend is going to dress up as Santa.’

Rocket now lives in Birmingham

Travelling through Kyiv, Chernihiv, Bucha, and Lviv, Wendy and her team have helped many people. They then turned their attention to the left behind animals who needed their help.

The task of taking care of these animals, and taking Rocket home, was no easy feat

Wendy explains: ‘When I came to leave the shelter, I asked to take a cat. The woman showed me the pretty ones. But I’d spotted one who couldn’t or wouldn’t fight for food at feeding time.

‘He was looking worse every day. She picked him up and showed me he only had 3 legs. She said I couldn’t have him. I asked why. She looked confused “nobody wants a cat with 3 legs” as if I was crazy.

‘I spoke with Gary, our most experienced team member when it comes to cats. He said he probably wouldn’t make the journey. I insisted it was all the more reason to try. The woman at the shelter still said no. So I offered her a deal. I would buy her a veterinary IV machine and she’d let me take the cat. The machine cost me $550 (£492) and we left with the cat.’

Rocket isn’t the only animal rescued by Wendy. She has been rescuing and reuniting pets to their owners all over Europe, including travelling to Poland and around the UK to re-home them.

‘Even once home, my phone didn’t stop ringing. So I’d talk to contacts and have the pets moved from city to city inching closer to a home. From there, we’d use a network of volunteers from all over Europe to take them to their final locations to be reunited.

‘One mum messaged regularly to tell me her daughter wouldn’t stop crying and they hadn’t seen their dog in months. She was worried the little girl wouldn’t get over it. But we reunited them. The messages of thanks were overwhelming.

Let’s hope more pets find a happy ending like Rocket.


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