It is now very clear that the war in Ukraine is likely to be a long, drawn-out conflict that will continue for months, if not longer. The consequences for animals are almost unimaginable.
At a minimum, there are some 5.5 million cats and more than 750,000 dogs in the country, and for them, the future could not be more bleak. The Russians are pulverizing cities to rubble and pulverizing animals along with the buildings. We and other animal lovers are their only lifeline.
As I write this, we have a team in Odessa desperately trying to aid horses there. Odessa is besieged and faces such heavy attack that one of our challenges is sourcing bulletproof vests! Think about that! People who want to help animals must don bulletproof vests to do so. It’s as if a kind of madness reigns.
We have told you before about the animal ambulances we have bought that take emergency pet food to Ukraine from Poland and return full of abandoned dogs and cats. Every time they make a trip, we never know if we will see them again. We wait and wonder. It’s the stuff of nightmares and very frightening, but we won’t give up.
I am proud to say we were one of the first animal welfare organizations to respond when the Russians invaded Ukraine, and we will be there for as long as the animals need us.
You and the animals can depend on us. It may be months, but we will continue saving animal lives. To do so, we need your support!
When the animals do arrive in Poland, they are often injured and always traumatized. We have funded the creation of an emergency cattery and an adaptation center for dogs so that our partner ADA Foundation can welcome refugee animals with loving arms and immediate treatment 24-hours a day.
We also take care of the unglamorous logistical tasks, providing fuel to keep the ambulances rolling, special transport cages, medical supplies, cat and dog transporters, fencing and all the other requirements that make it possible to rescue abandoned animals from a vicious war, where bombs rain death all around them.
We have partnered with 6 animal rescue organizations in Poland and Ukraine and, through them, are giving animals TON AFTER TON of pet food - a task that gets more expensive every week.
Everything we have done has SAVED LIVES - but the worst is still ahead as starvation and disease take hold of animals in ruined cities. Please, will you continue to help?
In many areas, animals' homes have been reduced to rubble, and dogs and cats pick their way through broken glass in search of scraps to eat, ever fearful of bullets and bombs. They have no idea what is going on. These war-stricken animals only know hunger and fear, and it seems humans have deserted them to die alone.
Our partners risk their lives every single day, dodging bombs and bullets, to take food to abandoned animals and rescue those they can. Despite all the difficulties, we keep finding ways to get funds to these organizations so the animals can keep eating, and they keep finding ways to get food under evermore difficult circumstances.
Honestly, our team is exhausted. None of us have experienced an animal catastrophe of this scale. We and our partners may all be tired, but what keeps us going is the knowledge that street animals who are used to tough lives, and always have a special place in our hearts, are now suffering on an almost unimaginable scale while much-loved pets have lost everything, and wander bewildered and alone through a war zone. They don’t know that their humans were forced to abandon them - or worse, that they were killed. All they know is hunger and fear.
We must do our very, very best to help them. As an animal lover, you know how much dogs and cats love us. Now more than ever, we must show them how much we love and care about them.
Please donate today to Network for Animals so we can work even harder to save, love and care for Ukraine’s animal victims of war. There’s no one left to help them but you, and us.
For the animals,
Network for Animals
P.S. It is my promise that we will not give up on Ukraine’s animals - no matter how many Russian bombs fall. And when the dust settles, we and are our partners will continue to be there for the animals. Please help us continue our vital work by donating today. It is only through animal lovers who care enough to donate that we can help Ukraine’s war animals, and they really, truly need all the help they can get.
Image credits: Banner: Jeremy Bowen/BBC, Image 1: ADA Foundation, Image 2: AFP via Getty images/Newsnpr, Image 3: NBC/Mohammad Javad Abjoushak/SOPA Images_LightRocket_Getty Images, Image 4: EMPR.MEDIA /@EuromaidanPR/Twitter