At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the shelter director and staff locked the gates of the Borodyanka shelter near Kyiv and fled, leaving close to 500 trapped animals to starve to death.
It may be hard to believe but, alas, it is true. We were desperate to help, but as bombs all but annihilated the city, there was simply no way to get to the animals.
Finally, just a few days ago, the occupation eased and the Network for Animals team and others were able to access the shelter. What we found there was by far the worst horror we have seen in this war to date!
We must warn you that what we’re about to tell you is a deeply disturbing story… but with your help - please - there is HOPE!
At the crack of dawn on April 2, a 6-vehicle convoy left Kyiv with 12 volunteers, including one from our team, and made the risky trip to the shelter. What they saw was utter devastation.
WHEELBARROWS were piled with bodies. Hundreds of dogs had to be buried in makeshift graves.
Miraculously, over 150 dogs survived. It is estimated that these animals had been without food for MORE THAN A MONTH! The survivors were appallingly close to death - some were unable to walk or even lift their heads.
After enduring A MONTH of excruciating deprivation, 27 dogs were rushed to a clinic. Sadly, three died on the journey - in their memory, and the memory of the others who died, we must do EVERYTHING we can to save the rest.
The dogs at the clinic are still in critical condition.
Those remaining at the shelter were fed and treated on site. They probably couldn’t believe their eyes that salvation had finally come.
“It was the most dreadful and heart-breaking thing I could ever imagine. We had to help remove the dead dogs from cages and take them away. Some were eaten by other dogs to survive, and some died the worst death ever.” (NFA team member Marc Ward, of Have a Heart Equine Sanctuary - HAHES)
When they are strong enough, the majority of the dogs will be taken to the Kyiv Hippodrome where a makeshift veterinary clinic is being set up, and care, food and shelter will be given to them. When it’s logistically possible, these animals will be moved and, hopefully, evacuated from Ukraine.
The harrowing footage of the Borodyanka shelter tragedy will haunt us for a long time - and we know the same is true for you. But now is our chance to help the living! With your support, that is what we will do - but we need your help to do it. Please stick by these animals who have experienced the absolute worst cruelty of this war.
We’ve already helped by providing fuel for the rescue mission, and we also provided a quarter-ton (230 kilograms) of food on the day, as well as blankets and water for the rescued animals and transportation to an animal shelter in Kyiv. Today we provided more funds for wet food - critical to help the animals gain their strength - and tomorrow, we’ll be sending 5 tons (5,000 kilograms) of dry food to the Hippodrome for these animals, as well as others in the region who desperately need it.
The survivors face MONTHS of difficult, painful recovery. We can’t promise they’ll all make it, but we CAN promise that we WILL NEVER give up on them! With your love and kindness, many WILL survive.
With your support, we’ll do everything in our power to rehabilitate the animals, care for them, and get them back to full health so they can find loving forever homes. We cannot begin to imagine their suffering, pain and fear - let alone the life-long trauma they will carry with them as they fight to survive this torture. Because that’s what it is - TORTURE!
Please donate as much as you possibly can right now so we can get these dogs on the long road to recovery. Every penny, dollar or pound makes, quite literally, a life-saving difference to these poor animals.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. This is a really urgent appeal for help! We always promised we would help the animals of Borodyanka as soon as we could. The moment we could access the shelter, we did - and now we need your help to save the survivors. You’ve already done so much to help, and your kindness has been felt by more than 1,400 animals rescued from war-stricken Ukraine, so far. The animals of Borodyanka are desperate for your kindness! Can they count on you now, in this dark time?