Towards the end of February, war broke out in Ukraine and just like that, it was all hands on deck at NFA. We were among the first to have a team on the border of Poland and Ukraine, and for weeks, we gave you daily reports on our work on the ground as we battled day and night to get animals out of the war zone and to safety in Poland.
The war has not ended – far from it – and it has entirely consumed our hearts and minds during March. So much so that we did not have a spare moment to share with you our work from February. Below you can read more about our current work in Ukraine, as well as everything your donations helped us achieve the previous month.
As war raged in Ukraine, more and more people were forced to flee without their animals. As soon as the crisis began, we sprang into action: we knew there would be animals in desperate need of help. We immediately reached out to several partners on the ground – heroic shelters and individuals who refused to leave their animals behind, even as bullets rain down and bombs destroy the city streets. They confirmed the worst: their shelters were being inundated with cats and dogs suddenly left homeless, terrified and starving in the midst of war. Supplies were dwindling fast. We promised to do as much as we could to help and, through your enormous compassion and generosity, we wereable to rush critical food and medical supplies to the region, including many tons of urgently-needed cat and dog food to shelters like Ecoprotection of Starokostyantyniv (EPS), near a military base in Khmelnitsky, and funds for supplies to our other partners, Shelter Ugolyok – the biggest animal farm shelter in the world – and the Animal Guardian Program run by Anzhela Sheveleva.
“I don’t know what we would have done without you. Thank you,” Oksana Zhurba of EPS told our team.
We also partnered with Foundation ADA in Poland and together, we worked around the clock to get animals out of Ukraine and to safety in Poland. Your generosity helped us purchase two animal ambulances to get as many animals out of the war zone as possible, as well as fund emergency cat and dog shelter, medication, food and other critical supplies.
Right now, our teams are on the ground providing urgent assistance to as many animals as possible. We continue to send funds to support our Ukrainian animal partners trapped in the horror of war. Many animals are still trapped and rely on us and our partners for food. Through your donations, we’ve at least been able to ensure their bellies are full, even if they don’t have warm beds to sleep in and dodge bullets daily.
The war is not going to end soon, and the animals are going to need more and more help. Please continue to donate so we can keep supporting the poor, abandoned animals of Ukraine. Their families are long gone. We are their only hope.
Alexander Bay, South Africa/Namibia
We received an urgent call for help from the National Sea Rescue Institutes (NSRI) of South Africa and Namibia: 32 horses and three foals were stranded in rapidly rising flood water along the Orange River, and their death by drowning was imminent. We raced to the scene with our partner, the Have A Heart Equine Sanctuary (HAHES), and together with the NSRI and good Samaritans from Namibia, we rescued all 35 animals before the worst became a reality. They needed medical care and food and so we appealed to you for help, and through your generosity, we were able to deliver bales of hay to these hungry animals.
One of the rescued horses
We received sad news from our partner APA El Refugio in Montevideo: a fire had swept through the dried-out vegetation surrounding the shelter. Two of their special-needs dogs died and the shelter was devastated. But disaster did not end here: just six days later, during the clean-up operation, an unprecedented amount of rain fell in the region, totally flooding the shelter and washing away food, kennels and other critical supplies. APA El Refugio has a special place in our hearts: it is the only dog shelter in Montevideo, and it cares for many ill, elderly and special-needs dogs. Uma and Escandalo, the two dogs who died, were two such dogs. We shared this tragic story with our supporters and asked you to donate towards the survivors in the memory of those who had lost their lives. You opened your heart and gave generously, helping us to help the shelter rebuild and offer hope to the poor animals who have endured fire, flood and a vicious attack by armed thugs, all within the last few months.
Hout Bay, South Africa
Seal pups, some just weeks or even days old, were washing up on the shores of the Western Cape – weak, orphaned and desperate for food. These were the youngest victims of the seal crisis, which we told you about a few months ago. Malnutrition was found to be one of the major causes of this widespread die-off, and to a lesser extent, adverse weather conditions which resulted in pups washing up dead. Back then, you helped us rush food to the starving seals, and when we reached out to you in February – the situation even worse than before – you helped once again. Thanks to your kindness, we were able to supply vet-grade puppy milk to our partner, the Hout Bay Seal Rescue Centre, which works day and night to save the baby seals – some rescued with their placentas still attached. This food is the closest substance to their mothers’ milk and the only food that will give them the nutrition they need to make it through their critical early weeks of life. We look forward to the day that these babies are released back into the ocean where they belong.
Strasevina is a rural town in Montenegro that has become a dumping ground for unwanted pets. Fortunately for these discarded dogs and cats, they have Zeljana Delibasic, a poor farmer who lives on a hillside property that has become a refuge for abandoned animal souls. She takes in every single animal that claws its way to her door and pays every cost herself. Without running water or very much of anything at all, she gives every last cent and crumb of food she has to the animals in her care. With your support, we had helped Zeljana in the past, but with a fierce winter raging, the animals needed more help. Zeljana was running critically low on funds to care for the 33 dogs and colony of cats in her care. We reached out to our supporters, and you responded generously. We were able to provide Zeljana with the funds to feed all the animals through winter and provide them with warmer shelter for these icy months. Thank you for showing such kindness to Zeljana and the tragically abandoned animals she loves so dearly.
In the African nation of Mali, horses, cows and goats are subjected to sickening ritual torture. Burned, buried and tortured alive, these animals are helpless against the cruelty of so-called ‘holy men’ who use them in sacrificial practices. When we learned of this horrific abuse, we knew we had to reach out to our supporters. Back in December, you were instrumental in helping us raise money to begin fighting the brutal dog meat trade in Mali. Now we needed to turn our attention to the other helpless animals who desperately needed help. At NFA, we will never ignore the pain or abuse of an animal in need. The animals are powerless to fight their gruesome abuse but with your help, we can step in and begin to protect them. Thank you for helping us to be a voice for the voiceless by donating to help the animals of Mali. It will be a long battle but, with your support, we are beginning it now, one step at a time.
Lakiya, southern Israel
Another month, another case of helpless baby donkeys subjected to the most awful abuse by children. This time, it happened in the Bedouin town of Lakiya in southern Israel. Two baby donkeys, who had been stolen from their mothers, were at death’s door by the time they were rescued and taken to our partner, the Starting Over Sanctuary (SOS). The baby donkeys’ legs had been bound so they couldn’t escape, and one was crying in fear and desperately calling for his mother. It is an absolute miracle that these foals survived. We shared their sad story with you, and your donations are helping to fund medical care and food they need to heal after their awful and traumatic start to life.
Aqaba – Jordan
Brave little Bella was just a baby when she was hit by a car in Jordan and left to die on the street. Fortunately, a compassionate passerby spotted her and rushed her to our partner, the Al Rabee Society for Nature and Animal Protection in Aqaba. X-rays revealed that while Bella sadly has a broken back, her spinal cord isn’t severed. This means that even though her injuries are extensive, there is hope for this little fighter: with the right rehabilitative care, she may walk again. Bella has been offered a spot at Casa Bau, a doggie rehabilitation center in Italy. There, she’ll received specialized care and, once she’s well enough, the chance at finding a loving forever home. We needed to raise enough money to get her there – $2,000 (£1,500) to be exact. We shared Bella’s tale with hope, and through your generous response, we will be able to sender on her flight to freedom!
With your help, we saved 440 dogs, 120 cats, one horse, one pony, two donkeys and a herd of goats from death when the Friend Animal Foundation (FAF) in Harare was about to close because the owner died. The authorities threatened to put them all down, but then our supporters stepped in; we are now fully funding the shelter for the next two years and through your generosity, are able to keep the doors open and improve the living conditions of the animals. This video will warm your heart, and it’s all thanks to YOUR kindness and generosity. Click below to watch…
We asked you to help us purchase 30 tons (30,000 kilograms) of dog food for hungry street dogs in South Africa… and you did! Through your support – your generosity in donating and spreading our message – we were able to buy enough food to feed more than 3,000 dogs in impoverished regions and townships throughout the country. The video says it all – and we guarantee you’ll be grinning from ear to ear by the end. Thank you for helping to fill the bellies of thousands of hungry dogs. They are so grateful to you, and so are we! Click below to watch…
Calvinia, South Africa
It wasn’t just the dogs of South Africa who enjoyed a hearty meal – some of the neediest cats were given some love, too! Thanks to a kind donation from Royal Canin pet food and Vet Point in Cape Town, we were able to deliver vet-grade cat and kitten food to the starving kitties of Calvinia in the Northern Cape. These hungry little faces were SO grateful for the donation, which was desperately needed in the poor, drought-stricken town.
We were thrilled to recently welcome baby Ballina to the world! Ballina is a miracle foal, born to a mom who survived the most shocking abuse at the hands of cruel humans in Zimbabwe. Rescued and rehabilitated by our partner Matabeleland Animal Rescue & Equine Sanctuary (MARES), Ariel – along with her precious foal – will never have to experience another moment of cruelty. Your donations were their salvation – thank you for showing them such compassion. Without you, we have no hope of rehabilitating abused animals and bringing their babies safely into the world. Click below to watch…
Thanks to Network for Animals, Ikarus the puppy has been given a second chance at life after being found wounded and lying motionless in his own excrement on the side of a road in Nikšić. Vets discovered that the precious boy had permanent spinal damage and said he would never walk again – at least not on his own. We were able to subsidize Ikarus’s boarding at a specialist animal clinic in Belgrade, Serbia, where he has begun a course of crucial antibiotic therapy, is receiving high-quality nutrients and vitamins, and was even gifted a brand-new soft bed specifically designed to ease the pressure on his wounds. Ikarus will remain in the care of the clinic until his posterior lesions have fully healed. The next step is finding this beautiful pup his perfect forever home! Thank you for aiding us in our mission to save yet another precious life. Read More…
Lastly, but by no means least,
Happy birthday, Brian!
NFA founder and animal welfare trailblazer, Brian Davies, celebrated his 87th birthday on February 4th. Together with his wife, NFA’s chief executive Gloria, he has dedicated his life to making the world a better place for animals. We shared a birthday message on our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter pages, and received so many wonderful responses.
“Happy Birthday Brian! I have admired all you do for many years and been involved in your charities and all your amazing achievements for animals. Thank you xx.” – Facebook
“Keep up your dedication to a most worthy cause. We will continue to support you.” –Twitter
“Wishing a “VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to a man who can’t be thanked enough for the wonderful work he does for animals everywhere. God Bless you, Sir. You have my utmost respect.” – Facebook
“Happy Birthday, Brian! Thank you for all you do to help animals everywhere!!!” – Twitter
“You are an inspiration to all.” – Facebook
“Happy, happy birthday, Brian! Thank you for everything you have done for the animals. You are a wonderful example to the rest of us.” – Instagram
“Happy belated birthday wishes Brian. I remember you first from quite a few years ago with the seals and how much you did for the terrible plight of the baby seals. You were my hero then and still are. I give as often as I can although I would give more if I could. Enjoy your day and many, many more years to come. Thank you also for all that you do. Wonderful man.” – Facebook
“Happy birthday Brian Davies! Have a beautiful day with your wife Gloria and thank you so much for all you do for all animals.” – LinkedIn
“Happy birthday dearest Brian! You changed my life forever since I was a little girl and I saw that issue of LIFE magazine about your early work with the white baby seals. You continue to inspire me every day with the work you do through NFA. Gloria, please give Brian an extra birthday kiss from me!” – Instagram
As always, these life-changing, life-saving campaigns are made possible by your kind and generous donations. Thank you for continuing to support our work so that we may fight to help every precious life possible.
Image credits: Banner: @UAarmy_animals_ Twitter, Image 1: EPA, Image 5: Hout Bay Seal Rescue Centre, Image 7: Michele Cattani /AFP