Cat in Ukraine

One Year into War, Animal Rescue Efforts Intensify 

FOUR PAWS focuses on protecting stray cats in five cities in Ukraine


MARCH 1, 2023 – A project called Kishka by FOUR PAWS focus its efforts to specifically take care of stray cats roaming the streets in five Ukrainian cities including Chernihiv, Sumy, Boryspil, Uman, and Poltava. The goal of project Kishka (the Ukrainian word for “female cat”) is to sterilize and vaccinate 10,000 stray cats by the end of 2023.

One year ago, the Russian war on Ukraine has started with millions of people fleeing their homes, taking with them only what they could carry. Often pets were left behind with a heavy heart. Due to this state of emergency the number of stray animals in the embattled streets of Ukraine has risen significantly.

“It is a known fact, that when stray dog populations decline, stray cat populations can increase dramatically. Spring is around the corner, which means mating time for cats. Unneutered cats can produce offspring up to three times a year. Therefore we started a long-term project, called Kishka, to assist local communities to stabilize their stray cat populations. 

Manuela Rowlings, Head of Stray Animal Care (SAC) in Europe at FOUR PAWS

FOUR PAWS began working in Ukraine in 2012 through its Stray Animal Care (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. To provide psychological support, FOUR PAWS also continues with their Animal Assisted Interventions team visiting with children, soldiers, and refugees. FOUR PAWS also built in 2017and continues to run BEAR SANCTUARY Domazhyr in Western Ukraine.

FOUR PAWS’ Boston-based office positioned instrumental support for Ukraine by partnering with American grant organizations and private donors. “The outpouring of philanthropic support has made our life-saving efforts in Ukraine possible,” says Danika Oriol-Morway, Country Director of FOUR PAWS USA. “We are moved and inspired by our partners,” Oriol-Morway continued, “these include MSPCA Angell, The ASPCA, Animal Welfare Institute, Petco Love Foundation, The Triple T Foundation, A Kinder World Foundation and others who wish to remain anonymous, who’s support allows FOUR PAWS to do what it does best, provide critical care for animals in need.”

Cat Kisa with Irina Kisileva, Kiev in Ukraine 2022

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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. 

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