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300 Dogs Found Dead at Ukraine Shelter After Going Without Care amid Russia’s Invasion, Animal Group Says

Volunteers from the Ukraine-based animal rights organization UAnimals said they are assisting the dogs discovered alive at the impacted shelter after hundreds of the facility’s canines perished of starvation and thirst.

CREDIT: RODRIGO ABD/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK

Hundreds of dogs are said to have died at a Ukraine animal shelter after being abandoned due to Russia’s ongoing onslaught on Ukraine, which began with a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24.

When the war initially broke out, 485 dogs were abandoned and put in cages at an animal shelter in Borodyanka, Ukraine, according to the Ukraine-based animal rights organization UAnimals. According to the organisation, the dogs were left without food or water for weeks until volunteers were able to obtain access to the shelter on April 1 when Russian military left the area.

However, by that time, all but 150 of the 485 dogs had reportedly been discovered dead in the shelters that UAnimals had publicized on social media. Volunteers with the charity, who offered food and water to the surviving creatures, said the majority of the remaining canines were in severe condition and had been brought to local veterinarians. Furthermore, some of the dogs perished on their route to treatment.

“We were stunned a few days ago when we learned that over 300 dogs were killed in the Borodyanka Animal Shelter… Bombings did not kill the animals… They died a horrible death in their cells, without food or water “UAnimals said in a statement before asking authorities to arrest the shelter’s owner with animal cruelty. “We must hold accountable everyone who silenced and contributed to the catastrophe.”

CREDIT: EFREM LUKATSKY/AP/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Romanian Red Cross and Humane Society International (HSI) have collaborated to bring pet supplies into Ukraine to help animals affected by Russia’s incursion.

According to an HSI press release, animal shelters, veterinarian clinics, and pet owners in Ukraine are struggling to locate pet food and medical supplies to keep the country’s animals healthy.

In response to this crisis in animal care, the Romanian Red Cross has chosen to include animal life-saving items in its humanitarian aid package for Ukraine. To assist in these efforts, HSI has given nearly a ton of pet food to the Romanian Red Cross. According to HSI, the Romanian Red Cross is the first to include pet help in its transportation.

“In times like these, we recognize that not just people, but also animals, require assistance. We are delighted to have Humane Society International on our side, ensuring that much-needed pet food reaches Ukraine via our convoys. The first ton of dry pet food has arrived at our loading station in Sibiu and will be transferred to Ukraine in the coming days “Raluca Morar, executive director of the Romanian Red Cross in Sibiu, made the announcement in a statement.

“We are grateful that the Romanian Red Cross has realized that the plight of animals in war is closely linked to the tragedy of the humans who live with them and care so passionately about their wellbeing,” Andreea Roseti, Romania director of Humane Society International/Europe, noted. “We have given one ton of emergency pet supplies, the first of many that will be distributed by the Red Cross throughout Ukraine to help avert a deepening animal welfare crisis. There are many pet dogs and cats roaming the streets that have been separated from their homes; they are befuddled, traumatized, and in desperate need of assistance.”

“The tragedy of war does not discriminate between two or four legs,” Roseti continued, “and together with the Red Cross, we will get relief to those people in Ukraine who are anxiously pleading for help to keep their animal friends alive in this crisis.”

CREDIT: DUMITRU DRAGOS/HSI

Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the first significant land conflict in Europe in decades. Details of the fighting alter by the day, but hundreds of people, including children, have already been reported killed or injured. According to the UN, millions of Ukrainians have left as well.

“You have no idea where to go, where to run, or who to call. This is pure fear “Liliya Marynchak, a 45-year-old teacher from Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, told PEOPLE about the moment her hometown was bombarded — one of several testimonies of Russian bombardment.

The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has elicited widespread outrage and increased economic penalties on Russia.

With NATO forces massing in the region surrounding Ukraine, a number of countries have committed aid or military support to the struggle. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called for peace talks, which have so far been ineffective, while also pushing his country to fight back.

Putin maintains that Ukraine has historical ties to Russia and that he is working in his country’s best security interests. Zelenskyy swore not to back down.

“Nobody can break us, we’re strong, we’re Ukrainians,” he assured the European Union in the early days of the conflict, adding, “Life will triumph over death.” And the light will triumph over the darkness.”

The Russian invasion on Ukraine is a developing narrative, with new details emerging all the time. Follow PEOPLE’s comprehensive coverage of the battle here, which includes stories from citizens on the ground as well as ways to aid.

h/t: PEOPLE

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