Dog Lovers Unite for Pets in Ukraine

Dog Lovers Unite for Pets in Ukraine

It’s been one month because the warfare started. I’m right here in Ukraine, embedded with a Polish veterinary crew from the Ada Foundation — an animal clinic and hospital situated close to the Ukrainian border in Poland. We are touring in a convoy of two animal ambulance vans, loaded with much-needed meals and medical provides, on a mission to assist pets displaced by warfare.

We move a navy checkpoint as we drive towards the small village of Mo´sciska, situated on the outskirts of Lviv. There is an eerie sense of foreboding because the warfare rages on, simply 350 miles from right here.

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4 refugee dogs in shelter
Refugee canine are seen on the Asylum of Mercy animal shelter situated on the outskirts of Lviv, Ukraine. Nearly 300 canine in whole await transport to Poland after fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. ©Alan De Herrera

Overwhelmed Ukrainian shelters

“The shelters in Ukraine are overwhelmed due to all of the canine coming from the east,” says Cezar Kotowicz, the journey coordinator, referring to the canine from the war-torn areas. “These shelters don’t have sufficient sources and wish our assist.”

black shepherd mix rescue dog
This black shepherd combine arrived on the Ada Foundations’s veterinary hospital after being transported in an animal ambulance from a shelter in Ukraine. ©Alan De Herrera

We arrive on the Hope Ranch, a small shelter run by Anya Zhuk. Wagging tails and pleasant barks greet us as we begin unloading 3 tons of donated kibble and different provides. “We have 80 rescues right here,” Anya says. “Three extra arrived this morning.”

The crew unpacks and assembles steel crates whereas seven canine are wrangled for evacuation. “One has a damaged leg,” Anya tells me. “Some misplaced their homeowners and wish affection. We can’t hug all of them.”

One by one, every canine is fastidiously loaded right into a van together with a comfortable mattress and blanket for the lengthy journey to security and a brand new life.

At the Asylum of Mercy shelter, we assist Nataliya Kuznetsova, who has almost 300 canine. “We want a number of meals to take care of all these canine,” says Nataliya, who began her nonprofit in 2006. “Many of them have been dropped off by homeowners who went off to combat within the warfare,“ she provides. “It’s a tough scenario.”

Pets are harmless bystanders

The Ada Foundation is dedicated to aiding these and different shelters for so long as it takes. In order to deliver again rescued canine from Ukraine, Poland’s border management requires every canine to be microchipped and have all required vaccine paperwork.

veterinarian jakub kotowicz with dog with broken legs
Polish Veterinarian Jakub Kotowicz from the Ada Foundation poses with Hart, a Ukrainian canine refugee. Hart was rescued and transported throughout the border into Poland after struggling two damaged legs. ©Alan De Herrera

“We have handled over 400 canine from Ukraine,” says Radak Fedaczynski, a veterinarian and co-owner of the Ada Foundation. He introduces me to Moon, a German Shepherd rescued from Ukraine. “She’s an older canine,” he says.

Moon arrived on the heart dehydrated and with a nasty pores and skin an infection. Dr. Fedaczynski then factors to a small mass beneath her stomach. “She has a tumor that must be eliminated.”

In one other room, there are extra warfare tales. There I meet Hart, a 1-year-old, rambunctious black Husky combine with piercing blue eyes. He wears a forged on every of his entrance legs, which have been severely damaged.

Next I meet Vira, a small canine recovering from a gunshot wound and spinal harm. “She was saved from the war-torn Donbas area,” says Ada Foundation veterinarian Jakub Kotowicz. With her again legs suspended in a vertical harness, Vira receives aqua remedy. Dr. Kotowicz reveals me her CT scan which reveals a small bullet lodged in the course of her backbone. “She might not be capable of use her again legs sooner or later, so we’re getting ready to construct her a wheelchair.”

Vira wags her tail as they encourage her to maneuver her hind legs by way of the nice and cozy water. “Rehabilitation is an extended course of,” Dr. Kotowicz says. “But in some unspecified time in the future, she might be out there for adoption.”

Like the kids, these canine are harmless bystanders of warfare. Noncombatants. But there’s something strikingly completely different about this battle because it pertains to animals. The world’s protection within the media and on social has put Ukraine’s pets on the forefront, day after day. And in doing so, their tales is not going to go

veterinarian giving dog physical therapy
Veterinarian Jakub Kotowicz and his medical workers conducting a bodily remedy session with Ukrainian refugee canine Vira, who suffered a gunshot wound to her backbone. ©Alan De Herrera

How You Can Help the Pets of Ukraine

We right here at Dogster love animals, and we’re heartbroken to see all of the beloved pets who’ve been displaced or are fighting their individuals in Ukraine as they attempt to flee towards security.

Many of the bigger nationwide and worldwide animal organizations have stepped as much as assist the animals in Ukraine. Here a just some:

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has donated $150,000 in emergency funds to worldwide animal welfare efforts in response to the pressing wants of animals and pet homeowners impacted by the warfare. (

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is working with native companions to get provides to wildlife sanctuaries and animal shelters in Ukraine. (

American Humane approved a $10,000 emergency grant to assist with the IFAW’s efforts. (

The American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) charitable arm, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) directed a $100,000 donation from Merck Animal Health to help veterinary and animal-welfare teams in Ukraine and surrounding areas, then matched it with a $100,000 grant of its personal.
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But it’s not simply organizations. Many U.S. veterinarians have traveled to Ukraine to supply their assist. Here are tales from three of them. You can comply with their travels and discover organizations they suggest supporting.

Dr. Marty Becker, founding father of Fear Free Pets, coated his personal bills and went to the Ukraine-Romania border, the place he labored intently with Romanian rescue Sava’s Safe Haven (, and helped present care to pets in a tent that housed veterinary companies, utilizing the fear-free methods he created. Learn extra at

Colorado-based veterinarian Dr. Jon Geller headed to a Romanian border crossing with Ukraine, the place he was in a position to arrange a government-approved, veterinary-licensed clinic in a big tent offered on the border station, primarily caring for refugee pets to permit them to proceed touring by way of Europe. Dr. Geller added a Project Ukraine initiative to his present nonprofit The Street Dog Coalition, which gives free veterinary companies to pets of individuals experiencing homelessness. Learn extra at

Dr. Gary Weitzman, veterinarian and president of the San Diego Humane Society, gathered up medical provides and spent 10 days in a pop-up clinic on the Poland-Ukraine border with the objective of caring for as many animals as he may throughout that point interval. Teaming up with a German volunteer group, they offered meals, provides and first assist to the animals. Learn extra about his journey by doing a seek for “Ukraine” at

It’s unimaginable to checklist all the people and organizations who’re serving to the individuals and pets of Ukraine. We ask our readers to inform us about any they’ve come throughout, and we’ll add them to a listing on Just e-mail us at

Alan De Herrera is a journey photojournalist working domestically and internationally, specializing in humanitarian, wildlife and canine tales. He lives in Irvine, California, along with his Border Collie combine, Capitán. Follow him on instagram @alandeherrera.ig

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