Horror as over 300 dogs found dead in Ukrainian shelter after weeks without food or water
HUNDREDS of dogs have been found starved to death after being locked in cages in a Ukrainian animal shelter since Russia’s invasion began.
Almost 500 dogs were left without food or water in a shelter in Borodyanka since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on February 24. After soldiers left the area at the beginning of the month, charity volunteers were able to return to the shelter and found that more than 300 of them had not survived.
Charity organisation UAnimals said 485 dogs had been locked in their cages until 1 April because volunteers could not return to the shelter due to the ongoing conflict.
CBS News reported that when volunteers were able to return to the shelter a few days ago, all but 150 of the 485 animals had died.
A video was shared on Twitter by Oleksandra Matviichuk, lawyer and head of Ukraine nonprofit Centre for Civil Liberties, which shows bodies of numerous dogs piled on the floor.
In the footage, the female volunteer can be heard narrating the scene in a tearful voice.
She captioned the footage: “I have no words. Russians even killed dozens of dogs in Kyiv region. WHY??”
UAnimals said that 27 of the surviving dogs who were in a critical condition have been transferred to private clinics for treatment.
The charity is also offering 50,000 hryvnias (£1293) as a reward for anyone willing and able to take the others.
Some of the surviving dogs are also being supported by the charity themselves.
More than 300 dogs starve to death at animal shelter after Russian troops left them to die in their cages while occupying Ukrainian town
- A total of 485 dogs were locked in cages at the UAnimals shelter in Borodyanka
- They were left for more than a month without food or water by Russian occupiers
- Shelter workers were only able to return on April 1 after Russian troops retreated
- UAnimals said only 150 of the 485 dogs managed to survive, with 27 critically ill
- Harrowing footage shows workers stacking up a huge pile of carcasses, while other videos show dozens of corpses littering the floors of the shelter
Hundreds of dogs have been found dead at an animal shelter in Ukraine after Russian occupiers left them to starve in their cages for weeks.
There they remained without food or water for about a month as the occupiers left them to die, until staff were able to return to the compound on April 1 once the Russian soldiers had retreated.
Footage released by the animal shelter on Instagram showed workers stacking up a huge pile of dead hounds which had wasted away in the presence of the occupiers.
Meanwhile, images of half mangled corpses in some of the cages suggested some dogs had begun to eat their dead cell mates in the complete absence of food.
‘This is the number of dogs… and this is not all, this is just a part,’ a woman can be heard saying through tears as she filmed workers adding to the stack of corpses.
‘These are the animals of Borodyanka, and the consequences of war. The consequences of complete indifference and negligence. The animals went three to four weeks without food or water.’
Just 150 of the 485 dogs were found alive when the workers returned, with 27 of them transferred to local vets in critical condition.
UAnimals has since announced on social media it will pay 50,000 hryvnia (almost £1300) to anyone willing to rescue some of the animals still left alive, and hit out at the director of the Kyiv veterinary hospital – the owners of the shelter – for not organising proper care or evacuation for the dogs.
One video, posted by lawyer and head of Ukrainian nonprofit Centre for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk, showed dozens of carcasses littering the floor at the UAnimals shelter.
‘I have no words. Russians even killed dozens of dogs in Kyiv region. WHY??’ she tweeted.
Meanwhile, more footage posted by Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Gerashchenko showed some of live dogs barking in terror as staff members slowly entered their cages and observed the dead bodies for the first time.
Some of the carcasses had remained untouched, but others had been torn apart by the ravenous dogs still trying to survive.
Though shelter staff were unable to care for the animals while the town was under the control of Russian occupiers, the UAnimals shelter announced on social media it had lodged a police complaint demanding that the deaths be investigated as animal cruelty crimes.
It argued that the head of the Kyiv veterinary hospital, Natalya Mazur, was responsible for arranging care for the animals in the early days of the war, but instead left just one man to look after the entire population.
UAnimals said this man left the dogs to die ‘in agony’, and demanded that Mazur be replaced as director of the Kyiv veterinary hospital as ‘the current director cannot act as a manager and should not interact with animals in the future’.
Mazur in the early days of the war made an appeal for financial donations to help deliver food and aid to animals in various shelters, but said that transporting the animals and arranging evacuations was not possible due to the logistical struggles facing a nation at war.
The haunting revelations made at Borodyanka’s animal shelter come just one day after Ukrainian officials warned the town is also likely to have seen horrific atrocities committed against its human population by Russian forces.
Ukrainian prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova told Ukrainian TV yesterday that there was a ‘similar humanitarian situation’ in Borodyanka to that of Bucha, where several mass graves and hundreds of dead civilians were found over the weekend.
Venediktova said ‘the worst situation in terms of the victims’ condition’ could be found in Borodyanka, which is a little further from Kyiv than Bucha and was also held by Russian forces until just days ago.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday said it had become harder for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia since Kyiv became aware of the scale of alleged atrocities carried out by Russian troops just north of the capital.
‘These are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide,’ Zelensky said, wearing body armour and surrounded by military personnel as he observed the mass graves in Bucha.
‘It’s very difficult to talk when you see what they’ve done here,’ he said. ‘The longer the Russian Federation drags out the meeting process, the worse it is for them and for this situation and for this war.
‘We know of thousands of people killed and tortured, with severed limbs, raped women and murdered children,’ he said, adding that in Bucha and other towns in the Kyiv region ‘dead people have been found in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured’.
Zelensky said that despite the horrific human suffering in Bucha, residents were chipping in together to make sure homeless animals were fed.
‘That’s a characteristic trait of our people, I think – treat animals the way you would treat humans,’ he said.
‘But you can see around what was done to this modern town. That’s a characteristic of Russian soldiers – treat people worse than animals. That is real genocide, what you have seen here today.’
Ukraine’s prosecutor-general said the bodies of 410 civilians, many with bound hands and close-range gunshot wounds, have been recovered from towns surrounding Kyiv after last week’s withdrawal of Russian troops.
Another mass grave containing the bodies of at least 20 civilians including a mayor and her family was also uncovered in woodland near the town of Motzyhn, around 20 miles west of Bucha.
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