Things look to be growing increasingly challenging for Ukrainian pets and their rescuers nearly four weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Constant bombardment makes fleeing for many civilians and their dogs nearly impossible, complicating animal rescues on the ground.
Ukrainians are enduring unfathomable hardships as the battle rages on their streets. Not only are innocent Ukrainians forced to fight for their lives in order to reach safety, but so are the animals and their heroic rescuers.
Over 3 million Ukrainians are thought to have fled to neighboring nations in the weeks since Russia attacked. Many individuals were permitted to bring their cherished pets, but this was not the case for everybody.
Many residents were forced to leave their pets behind while they sought sanctuary, or they were unable to return to their homes and retrieve their animals after the shelling began. Some Ukrainians even refused to leave the nation without their animals, leaving them in a difficult and potentially fatal predicament.
Because of the devastation described above, animal rescuers and groups in Ukraine have sprang into action to protect the many animals and caregivers who have been left behind. These brave people are doing it all, from responding to desperate house calls to evacuating animals by the truckload.
Animal Rescue Kharkiv is one of several animal rescue organizations who have made it their aim to save as many pets as possible. Even as the battle rips apart their community’s homes and families, they continue their mission day after day.
“Before the conflict began, our team resolved that we would stay here, perform the work, and not leave our city.” We will continue to work and help the animals.” — Olga Ilyunina, Kharkiv Animal Rescue
Animal Rescue Kharkiv has been answering to heartbreaking pleas from families who have been forced to leave their beloved pets behind. This entails go to the place, removing the pets from the residence, and seeking to find temporary caregivers until a permanent solution is found. If they can’t find somebody to take in the animals, they do it themselves.
“If no one replies, if no one can save the animal, we take it to our facility, or our volunteers and workers take them home.” Most of our employees now have around 20 animals.” — Olga Ilyunina, Kharkiv Animal Rescue
Unfortunately, even after being placed in the custody of the rescue squad, the animals are not safe from the wrath of the horrific battle. This was demonstrated when shelling hit the adoption center a few weeks ago, demolishing many enclosures and killing five dogs.
“A bomb exploded in our adoption center, destroying five enclosures and killing five dogs.” Some of them fled, and we’re looking for them.” — Olga Ilyunina, Kharkiv Animal Rescue
Rescuers and volunteers have not only rescued dogs from the streets and abandoned houses, but they have also supplied essential supplies to animal shelters. Some of these shelters house hundreds of dogs, each of which is running low on the food and medical resources required to keep their animals alive.
With roads devastated and Russian military seizing control of some places, it has become nearly hard to send supplies to animals and people in need. Anastasiia Yalanskaya, a dedicated volunteer, was recently shot and died while attempting to deliver food to a shelter outside Kyiv, demonstrating how hazardous these trips have become.
“There are some large bunkers on area seized by Russian military.” They will not allow the transportation of food, water, or people. I don’t see why Russian soldiers, who are also humans, can’t feed citizens and animals. They haven’t done anything wrong.” — Happy Paw’s Olga Spektor
Searching the ‘Ukrainian Animal Rescue Information’ page on Facebook reveals exactly how bad the situation is for so many humans and animals across the country. The page is packed with appeals for help from pet owners and caregivers, with animal lovers from all around the world attempting to offer as much support as possible.
Several organizations are currently on the ground, seeking to transfer as many animals as possible to neighboring countries such as Poland and Romania. These countries’ borders are teeming with refugee dogs, and clinics and shelters are working frantically to rescue as many lives as possible.
The best approach to aid Ukraine’s dogs and rescuers is to donate to groups on the ground or to support the shelters and hospitals that are taking in refugee pets. This includes contributing money, food, and supplies, as well as relocating animals from overcrowded shelters to create way for new arrivals.
Because there is no end in sight to the atrocities taking place in Ukraine, we express our love and support to everybody affected by this awful scenario.