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Ukraine: One Year of War in Ukraine: What Has Been Done for Animals?

One year of war in Ukraine: what has been done for animals?

24 February 2023

Djurskyddet Sverige

Written by Valentyna Vozna

Please click on any of the words in Purple to get more information – WAV.

A year ago we were counting at first the hours, then the days that it would take the Russian army to take over Kyiv. Today, we are still counting, and sadly it is already the one year anniversary of the war. Even though protracted war means more suffering for both people and animals, we would like to showcase the successes of our collective work to help the animals of Ukraine.

Today, we celebrate one year of tireless work of the international community, who did not hesitate to come to the rescue of animals a year ago; people from all over the world showed an unprecedented unity and willingness to make a contribution to someone else’s fight for freedom.

We also celebrate the hard work of all the animal volunteers who chose to stay in the country in order to take care of the animals, risking and often giving up their lives to help animals over the past year. 

In the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Eurogroup for Animals and its members convened a Taskforce to help address the plight of Ukrainian companion animals. The members are still determined to help the animals in Ukraine, regardless of the effort and resources it requires.

Over the past year, the Taskforce members have had numerous meetings to share information and decide on their strategy. They developed a network of trusted partners, and implemented varied projects such as providing pet food to animals, including in the most dangerous zones. They have supported local veterinarians, animal shelters and clinics, sterilisation and vaccination projects, and sent generators and mobile clinics in order to help animals in Ukraine, as well as receiving refugees with pets in the EU, providing them with all the necessary assistance.

© FOUR PAWS | Maksym Havrylov

To name just a few of their projects: 

Animalia supported the Best Friend Shelter Reconstruction Project; 

Cat Care Community supported shelter “Drug” (meaning Friend) in Kramatorsk and Ukrainians arriving to Latvia with pets;

Deutscher Tierschutzbund created an animal aid camp at Medyka border point in Poland for pets brought from Ukraine in cooperation with the Bundersverband GDT e.V. and IFAW; supported German member shelters, Polish shelters and organisations active in Poland (e.g. DDAO), so they can provide help to Ukrainian pets, including advocating for pet-friendly refugee camps and quarantine facilities for evacuated animals; evacuated an asiatic black bear from a rescue centre near Kyiv to the animal welfare centre Weidefeld; with the help of the Tierhilfe Hoffnung e.V. animals with no alternative option were evacuated from their animal welfare centre in Odesa (and other locations), and sent food, a generator, and other supplies to enable the centre to continue its work;

Djurskyddet Sverige launched a sterilisation project in Zhytomyr with the support of Animal Help ZT, sterilising and vaccinating animals of refugees and even animals brought by soldiers from front lines;

FOUR PAWS launched Kishka project – a sterilisation project aimed to sterilise 10,000 cats all over Ukraine; prepared a Shelter Adoption Program in the Ukrainian language; cooperated with USAVA in order to provide veterinary care for pets and strays; conducted sterilisation and vaccination against rabies project in 20 municipalities with a mobile clinic and a catching team; helped launch UPAW platform; helped rescue several bears and admitted them to their sanctuary Domazhyr, including from front lines such as Bakhmut;

GGI launched a sterilisation project, cooperating with numerous veterinary clinics, financially supported 30 shelters and sent 160 tons of pet food and 12,000 rabies vaccines to Ukraine;

Home4Pets provided help to refugees with pets in Czech Republic, including finding accommodation, as well as sent pet food to Ukraine; 

IFAW partnered with Mykolaiv Red Cross and Nova Ukraine in order to provide food and veterinary care to animals; launched free vaccination, sterilisation and microchipping project called Protect your pet with USAVA; cooperated with Save Pets of Ukraine initiative, founded by the Ukrainian manufacturer of food for cats and dogs Kormotech, in order to provide food to shelters in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Lviv, Zhytomyr and Odesa regions; brought five big cat cubs rescued from the exotic pet trade in war-torn Ukraine to a permanent home;

© FOUR PAWS | Maksym Havrylov

© FOUR PAWS | Maksym HavrylovNaturewatch Foundation continues their spay and neuter project in Kharkiv region despite the war; additionally, they launched Drains for Ukraine project to help feed free-roaming animals;

RSPCA collected assistance to Ukrainian pets, as well as donated to FOUR PAWS to support their team in Ukraine;

Save the Dogs and Other Animals cooperated with 400 volunteers in Ukraine channelling food to abandoned animals; created an animal aid camp at Isaccea border point in Romania to assist refugees with pets; 

Worldwide Vets carried out frontline animal sterilisations and treatments, provided horse food grants, rescued 9 lions from Odesa who now reside in America, and fundraised for a mobile clinic equipped to sterilise, vaccinate and treat cats and dogs;

The members have collectively supported UPAW by sending pet food and making financial donations.

The needs of animals in Ukraine today? 


Veterinary care, including rabies vaccinations


The foremost need of animals today is access to food, which is especially acute in times of cold winter conditions in Ukraine. The Ukraine Taskforce members have been providing food to their partners in Ukraine, who then redistribute it to those most in need. The situation is the most challenging at the front lines: there are many abandoned animals left to fend for themselves. Increased numbers of free-roaming animals are driven by abandoned unsterilised animals, since sterilisation of owned animals has never been widely practised in Ukraine even before the war. It is impossible to count these animals, but we are talking about hundreds of thousands if not millions of animals in need of food.

We realise that, unfortunately, the provision of food to animals in Ukraine will be a never ending need, which is why the Taskforce also focuses on a more systemic approach: the sterilisation of both owned and free-roaming animals. This is the only way to humanely manage the population and reduce their suffering. The Taskforce members partner with local veterinarians, some of whom have mobile clinics on the ground, while others have their teams in Ukraine who sterilise animals.

We coordinate our efforts in order to cover as many regions as possible. Last, but not least, animals are in constant need of veterinary care. Many are injured on front lines during military activity, but also in car accidents in more peaceful areas. 

What lessons can we draw from this year? 

Animals are part of the family or have economic value for people. We saw thousands of pictures of Ukrainians evacuating with their animals. We know about thousands of stories of people who left their animals locked in their homes, expecting that the war would be over in just a few days and they would come back home; instead they found themselves having to re-enter dangerous zones days later in order to evacuate their pets. Meanwhile, people such as managers of animal shelters, animal guardians in zoos and farmers refused to evacuate even from the front lines if the animals could not be evacuated with them. Humans are bonded to their animals and this influences human evacuation behaviour. 

Local communities were the first responders to the plight of animals in Ukraine. Whilst this will be the case in any disaster, the direct involvement of private persons is not always safe. Ideally volunteer activity on the ground should be coordinated by the government and the NGOs who have special procedures for animal rescue, evacuation or first aid. It can be dangerous for untrained people to try and manage animals under stress, as not all free-roaming animals are social. Volunteer activity by private individuals could be encouraged since they are the first responders on the ground, but they need to comply with the minimum safety procedures and they should not operate in silos. 


There is a lack of coordination among international and local animal welfare NGOs involved in Ukraine. Everyone chooses their own way to support: directly helping individuals financially, investing into the reconstruction of veterinary clinics and shelters, or sending in-kind donations. Unfortunately, there is a lack of communication among all the stakeholders, which may lead to duplication of efforts and hamper the ability to reach those most in need. Eurogroup for Animals’ Ukraine Taskforce urges everyone involved in Ukraine to join us. We are happy to share information about our projects and our expertise. 

You can help animals in Ukraine today by:

Donating to UPAW 

Adopting from a local shelter, which will liberate resources for Ukrainian animals

Donating to an NGO in your country who is helping animals in Ukraine

Thank you everyone who has been involved in helping animals in Ukraine and around the world. 

Regards Mark

Mongolia: Mongolia is on the brink of passing its first ever animal law. 300,000 homeless animals will be spared a violent, senseless death. Please Donate And Support Veterinary Equipment.

Hi Mark,

I am still haunted by the animals I met in Mongolia.

No longer! This abuse could soon be illegal.

Mongolia is on the brink of passing its first ever animal law. Thank you so much for your support to make this dream a reality!

If the Pet Rights Act becomes a law, all this ends. And 300,000 homeless animals will be spared a violent, senseless death.

Shooting and poisoning homeless dogs may soon be history!

This is a big step forward. But even if the law passes and homeless animals are safe from poisoners and shooters, they are still in danger…

Only one vet clinic in the capital city of Mongolia has an X-ray machine. This one machine has to help over 500,000 dogs and cats!

An X-ray is vital to find out what’s wrong and treat it. And so many street animals are hurt…

When Baby broke her leg, an X-ray saved her life

Every year, over 100 animals die because they needed an X-ray…

Mark, I know you are reading this because you want to help these poor animals. Will you act to help them now?

Your donation today will help dogs and cats who are hurt and homeless in the cold. Please give what you can!

We are 20% of the way to our goal of $30,000. But we need more help…

I’m worried we won’t reach our goal. If that happens, we can’t buy the X-ray and animals will keep suffering. We can’t let that happen!

Can you give today to help the animals feel better sooner?

The faster we reach our goal, the more dogs and cats we can save. With your help, the animals have a chance. They need you now.

It’s very important. Animals are dying without the X-ray machine.

If you help today, we can reach our goal and send an X-ray machine to our friends at Lucky Paws in Mongolia.

Fleur Dawes
Communications Director
In Defense of Animals

P.S. There’s no time to waste — we must reach our X-ray goal a.s.a.p.! It takes just a moment to donate, and your gift will have a huge impact where these animals need it most. Thank you for acting fast and giving whatever you can right now.

Donation Link:

Dying For Diagnosis (

There is an animal overpopulation and neglect crisis happening in Mongolia. Animals are dumped in dumpsters and abandoned. Homeless animals are abused in the streets or hit by cars.

Each year around 750 dogs and cats die or live on with agonizing long-term effects after suffering injuries that require an X-ray to deliver a critical diagnosis. Mongolia is a primarily a rural developing country and there is only 1 veterinary X-ray machine available for 3 million people!

In the capital city of Ulaanbaatar, where over 500,000 cats and dogs live, there are only 15 veterinary clinics specialized in treating animal companions. But only one clinic in the entire city has an X-ray machine that can diagnose injuries and diseases!

Please do not let animals continue to die simply because they cannot be diagnosed for lack of equipment. We urgently need to raise $30,000 to buy an X-ray machine so that no more innocent dogs and cats die without diagnosis!

Every animal unlucky enough to suffer a painful broken bone deserves use of this simple yet life-giving apparatus. Please make this a reality today.

With your help today we can reach our goal to supply an X-ray to our partner, Lucky Paws in Mongolia.

Regards Mark

England, London: To Show Solidarity Between the UK and Ukraine, A Huge Ukranian Flag Is Painted In The Road Outside the Russian Embassy (In London).

Demonstrators paint the road outside the Russian embassy in London with the colours of the Ukrainian flag, in a show of solidarity with the country as the world marks one year since Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine.

We understand that the paint used was non toxic and could easily be washed off any vehicle.

4 protesters were arrested.

South Korea: Animal Rights Groups Urge Suspension of Traditional Bullfighting.

Animal Rights Groups Urge Suspension of Traditional Bullfighting

Groups like the Korean Animal Welfare Association on Monday held a press conference in front of the National Assembly, urging politicians to remove exceptions for bullfighting in the Animal Protection Act.

“Cows are herbivores that do not fight in the wild. It amounts to animal abuse if humans force them to fight for mere amusement,” the groups said.

The Animal Protection Act stipulates in Article 8 that inflicting an injury upon an animal for gambling, advertising, amusement or entertainment amounts to animal abuse.

There is an exception, however, in cases specified by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, such as folk games, exempting bullfights held in 11 provinces located across the country from punishment.

Image Credit: Yonhap /

Animal Rights Groups Urge Suspension of Traditional Bullfighting | Be Korea-savvy (

Regards Mark

Vietnam: Urgent Appeal To Rescue 5 Bile Bears and Send Them To The Animals Asia Sanctuary.

Further update 2030hrs GMT

This link is not associated with any scam – it is a direct link to the ‘Animals Asia’ donation site.

At the bottom of the donation link there is both a telephone number and also an e mail address.

Donations can be made using this number directly if you wish to donate by card. This is for the UK office.

Phone: +(0)1752 224424

I will give the donation link once more:

Animals Asia | Make a donation today

Both the links given will take you to the same donation area; you can use either.

Here is the international site link of you wish to donate via this instead:


We’ve received a call from the Forest Protection Department in Vietnam alerting us to five bears who need rescuing immediately.

Will you join our Bear Rescue Team and help bring them home to safety?

Between these five bears there has been over 100 years of torturous bile extraction, without a second of freedom.

Right now, that’s all we know about them.

Two decades of abuse will have taken an enormous toll on their minds and bodies. It’s crucial we reach them as soon as possible. Please, will you help?

Welcoming these bears home to our sanctuary in Tam Dao, Vietnam means we’re now at full capacity. But you must know, this will not stand in the way of us rescuing them. Nothing will.

Please will you donate today? Your gift could help rescue five desperate bears and prepare our second sanctuary for the arrival of the hundreds more still waiting.

Donate via this link:

And I promise, with you by our side, nothing will stop us from saving more bears who desperately need us. Will you send an urgent donation today and help bring them home? We can’t do this vital work without you.

Every single second counts for the bears waiting to be saved from these terrible farms.

I’m beyond grateful for your support and dedication to the bears. Thank you for ensuring that no bear is left behind.

Jill Robinson MBE, Dr med vet hc, Hon LLD
Founder and CEO

PS I’ll be joining the team on the rescue so I promise to keep you updated as much as I can but in the meantime, it would mean the world if you could donate to these precious bears.

Donate via this link:

Regards Mark

USA: Snipers In Helicopters To Shoot Down 150 Feral Cattle.

Feral cattle terrorising hikers to be taken out by helicopter gunmen (

Feral cattle terrorising hikers to be taken out by helicopter gunmen

Snipers in helicopters will this week shoot down up to 150 feral cattle that have terrorised hikers in New Mexico.

The US National Forest is stepping in amid complaints from environmentalists that the beasts are wreaking havoc in the Gila National Forest, a 2.7million acre wilderness in the southwest of the US.

A helicopter carrying a shooter will fly over the forest, with the operation due to start on Thursday.

The herd’s territory is close to wilderness trails popular with hikers and the lack of a mobile phone signal in the wilderness means it would be difficult to summon help if somebody was injured in a stampede.

Hikers have reported being charged by wild bulls, which can weigh up to 2,000 pounds (907kg), officials said.

The Forest Service service said the cattle also posed a “significant” danger to natural resources.

“This has been a difficult decision, but the lethal removal of feral cattle from the Gila Wilderness is necessary to protect public safety, threatened and endangered species habitats, water quality, and the natural character of the Gila Wilderness,” said Camille Howes, Gila National Forest Supervisor.

“The feral cattle in the Gila Wilderness have been aggressive towards wilderness visitors, graze year-round, and trample stream banks and springs, causing erosion and sedimentation. This action will help restore the wilderness character of the Gila Wilderness enjoyed by visitors from across the country.”

An array of federally protected animals have been under threat from the cattle, including narrow-headed garter snake, Gila trout, loach minnow, spikedace, Mexican spotted owl, southwest willow flycatcher, and Mexican grey wolf.

Environmental groups had complained that the cattle were damaging streams and rivers.

“They are part of a herd of at least 150 that’s ripping up this monument and scaring the heck out of folks who cross paths with them,” Terry Anderson, a board member of the Society for the Conservation of Bighorn Sheep told the LA Times

“They also can transmit disease to native bighorn sheep. So, they need to be removed — and I’m all for lethal removal. They don’t belong here.”

Jack Thompson, desert regional director of the adjacent Whitewater Preserve added: “It’s Jurassic Park just a two-hour drive east of downtown Los Angeles.”

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the problems date back to the 1970s when cattle were abandoned by a rancher.

“Having been born in the wild and never domesticated, they are extremely hard to catch and survive in the rough backcountry that is difficult to access,” it said in a memo.

Not everyone was so enthusiastic about the cull on social media.

Marina Bolotnikova, a journalist and campaigner against factory farming wrote on Twitter: “Feral cows should be celebrated as refugees from the meat industry and given sanctuary, not gunned down from the sky.”

Ranchers have also condemned the move as cruel and were opposed to leaving the carcases to rot.

The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association has voiced doubts about the tactics. Tom Paterson, chair of the association’s wildlife committee, called for a solution which did not require the cattle to be shot.

“Our society should be better than this. We can be more creative and do it a better way where you’re not wasting an economic resource,” he said. However, the service said the culling was “the most efficient and humane” way to carry out the cull. 

Feral cattle are not unique to the Gila National Forest.

Regards Mark

England: London transport: Puppy rescued from busy railway by man in middle of train driving lesson. Great Story.

London transport: Puppy rescued from busy railway by man in middle of train driving lesson

A lucky puppy was rescued from the tracks of a busy London railway by a trainee driver who was in the middle of a train driving lesson. Stefan Hug, from East London, who only started learning to drive a train in January, was dramatically forced to stop a Southern service from Beckenham Junction to London Bridge on Wednesday morning when he saw the small black puppy running alongside the train.

Stefan, 32, who was accompanied by his driving instructor Kevin Timmins, said dogs are a rare sight on the railway track but the skills he learned in the classroom quickly “kicked in” as he completed his first rescue mission on the job. He said: “I think because you talk about it so many times the procedure just kicks in and you just know you need to bring the train to a stand, take a deep breath and think logically the next thing to do.”

He added: “Of course, that was contacting the signaller to get permission and authorisation to do anything before we step outside and try to retrieve the puppy.”

The trainee and his teacher quickly rescued the puppy from the tracks who was thankfully uninjured. They brought her on to a nearby platform and fed her ham.

Stefan was pictured cradling the small puppy in his arms, while safely stood on the railway platform. Recalling the incident he said: “We had just left South Bermondsey. That was our last stop before London Bridge.

Driving instructor Kevin, 54, from Kent, was pictured standing next to his mentee stroking the puppy after the rescue. He said: “We have an area next to the running rail called the cess, which is the area between the running tracks and the railway boundaries. It was running in that area, which is where we first spotted the puppy.”

Kevin praised the trainee for his composure throughout the incident. He said: “Stefan alerted me that he’d seen a puppy running next to the front of the train. He immediately put it into the correct braking procedure to bring the train to a stand. It was really good to see Stefan do those procedures correctly, and I’m really proud of him.”

He added that he hopes that the incident serves as a reminder to dog owners to keep their pets safe on railway platforms. He said: “It just reinforces the point of making sure if people have dogs on the platforms, they should be on the leash all the time and to keep pets near to you.

“It’s so easy for dogs to run off and run on the rails and it’s very hard to get them back. It does put a lot of people in danger and it’s a big operation to get them off the tracks.

“Hopefully, this is a good wake-up call to keep all of your animals close to you on leashes whilst you’re on railway property.”

Authorities are now searching for the puppy’s owner.

Regards Mark

London transport: Puppy rescued from busy railway by man in middle of train driving lesson (

India: ‘Animal Aid Unlimited’ Rescue Videos – Doing More To Help Street Dogs All The Time.

Dear Mark,     

Thank you for helping us expand our spay-neuter work to ensure happy lives for even more street dogs.


Work is underway at our Sterilization Center where we are refurbishing our Operating room and expanding our Pre and Post-Op room to accommodate a higher volume of surgeries each day.

At the start of this year, Animal Aid signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Udaipur Municipal Corporation giving Animal Aid the sole charge of running a city-wide CNVR (Capture, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return) program, ensuring humane treatment of the dogs and a scientific approach to managing the stray dog population. Animal Aid has also been given the charge of responding to reports of dog-biting and negative complaints about dogs, where we will work to educate the community, prevent cruelty to animals and do targeted spay and neuter in areas less welcoming of street dogs. This milestone will mean thousands more animals will receive the help they deserve, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your generous support!

This month we will be conducting a dog-population census which will help us set our monthly sterilization targets. Stay tuned!

Thank you so much–your help has made this exciting expansion possible.

Watch Eshan’s way of saying “I’m so happy to be alive!”

We received a call on our helpline about a dog who had been hit by a vehicle and was severely injured. From a distance we could see the enormous wound on his shoulder with muscles and skin ruptured and hanging from his leg. His pain must have been horrible.

Just click on ‘Watch on YouTube’ to view video:

We rushed him back to Animal Aid to prepare him for surgery to repair the wound and

stabilize him with fluids, antibiotics and painkillers. After surgery the remaining danger was infection, but luckily thanks to his general vitality, daily wound care and medicine, he started to heal beautifully.

If ever an animal seemed to say “thank you for saving me” it’s beautiful Eshan. Meet him now!

Help save an animal with so much more life to live – Please donate today.

For 6 frightening days, Lilac’s recovery was very uncertain.

But suddenly she bloomed! 

A little puppy had been injured and was laying motionless in the street when we found her. As our rescuers approached, they thought these might be her final breaths. But her eyes were wide open as they lifted her, and she whimpered. Her family of dogs and humans gathered around as we carried her to the ambulance. Some of them may have thought they were saying a final goodbye, but they would have been wrong.

In the hospital we discovered no fractures, although her condition was poor for the first few days because she couldn’t eat and would barely move. We suspected a spinal injury which needs carefully monitored quiet and rest.

But by Day 6, she decided she’d had quite enough quiet and rest, and her eager standing and eating proclaimed her intention to live! From forlorn and hovering on the edge of death to active! Alert! Playful and oh so alive. Meet Lilac now!

For animals when they need us most…. Please donate today

Call yourself “Sweetheart”

Founding family Erika, Claire and Jim, and the Animal Aid Unlimited team.that saves a precious life.

100% of the proceeds go to our street animal rescues

Shop now –  Animal Aid Unlimited Shop

We thank you deeply for all you do, are, and inspire for animals.

Founding family Erika, Claire and Jim, and the Animal Aid Unlimited team.

Regards Mark

Turkey: Brave Volunteers Try To Save Animals From Rubble After Devastating Earthquake.

Not much, but …. please watch the video (link below)

Volunteers in Turkey Try to Save Animals Trapped in Rubble After Devastating Earthquake

Volunteers from Turkey’s Animal Rights Federation are working to save animals trapped under the rubble or abandoned in apartment buildings after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country last week. Footage from AP.

Click here to see the video footage:

Volunteers in Turkey Try to Save Animals Trapped in Rubble After Devastating Earthquake (

Regards Mark