June 3, 2022 – As the war in Ukraine enters its 100th day, FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organization is running its Stray Animal Care (SAC) program again in full capacity in eight cities in Ukraine. These areas include the hardest hit and heavily damaged areas, which are Kyiv, Irpin, Bucha, Korosten, Zythomyr, Vinnytsa, Uman, and Mykolaiv.
The war has displaced millions of Ukrainians and hundreds of thousands of their pets and animals. The Kyiv area and northeast of the country was particularly affected. North of Kyiv the devastation is easy to see throughout the entire region, where many human lives were lost, and houses and essential infrastructure like streets and hospitals have been completely destroyed. Veterinary clinics and shelters, vital to providing care for pets that were left behind and stray animals, are also damaged or semi-abandoned. Many of the animals are terrified, injured, and in need of urgent care. FOUR PAWS has set up a temporary veterinary care clinic in Belogorodka village, Kyiv Oblast, and is now also helping in Bucha, Irpin and the surrounding areas.
“In the last 50 days we have positively impacted almost 700 dogs and cats in Ukraine. Despite the daily horrors our team on-site is facing, there are also stories of hope, just like the one of two dogs, Kit and Rokki, who, were both well looked after but unfortunately not microchipped. We took them into our care and since we could not find their original owners we were able to find new loving families for them.”
-Manuela Rowlings, Head of Stray Animal Care (SAC) in Europe at FOUR PAWS.
“In the last 50 days, we have positively impacted almost 700 dogs and cats in Ukraine. Despite the daily horrors our team on-site is facing, there are also stories of hope, just like the one of two dogs, Kit and Rokki, who were both well looked after but unfortunately not microchipped. We took them into our care and since we could not find their original owners, we were able to find new loving families for them.”
Oleksandr Nazaryshyn, a veterinarian in the Kyiv region who is supporting FOUR PAWS, added, “One of the biggest challenges is the constant stress. Not only among humans but also among the animals. Many cats and dogs escaped from their properties during air siren alerts and the shelling, as they were either scared of the loud noise or due to damaged fences. At the moment, we have a lot to do in our clinic and I sometimes have up to 15 patients a day.”
FOUR PAWS began working in Ukraine in 2012 through its SAC program, which has delivered veterinary care to 30,000 stray dogs and cats in over 60 municipalities. The team in Ukraine operates a mobile clinic, which carries out catch-neuter-vaccinate-return projects in different municipalities in the country. Now running at full capacity again, the team is able to deliver more urgently needed care to the countless number of homeless pets and terrified stray animals. The important and courageous work consists of not only vaccinations, neutering, and treatment of injuries, but also of finding new homes for many animals.
FOUR PAWS also built and continues to run BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr, a 15-hectare facility hosting 36 rescued bears. Despite the conditions in Ukraine, exert staff continue to provide the highest standard of care for the rescued bears that call BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr home.
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organization for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need, and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organization advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy, and understanding. FOUR PAWS’ sustainable campaigns and projects focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats, and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.fourpawsusa.org