Ukraine – how you can help

Posted on the 9th March 2022

Ukraine is in our thoughts every day – like most people, we are horrified by the tragedy and brutality of this war.

Etched on our hearts are the images of millions of refugees trying to escape the fighting, with only what they can carry, very often their companion animals, to an unknown place of safety.  And we are thinking of all the Ukrainians who continue to live in the war zone, doing whatever they can to fight for their home, support others and helping animal victims of war. Yesterday I read the tragic news about a young Ukrainian woman, Anastasiia Yalanskaya, who was shot and killed while delivering food to a dog shelter near Kyiv.

We have received so many messages from supporters asking what they can do to help. Animal Aid only works in the UK, but we have tried to identify the best ways to help, always aware that in a war zone and refugee crisis, the local situation is changing rapidly. Many of the large NGOs, such as British Red Cross and Unicef, are working with refugees, but if you specifically want to support refugees with companion animals or abandoned/rescued animals, here are a few ways you can help. We will update these as and when we receive more information.

  • Please follow updates from our friends at Naturewatch Foundation who were working in Ukraine and have a better understanding of what is happening locally. They do have a list of Ukrainian animal shelters and organisations ndash; although how much the Ukrainian organisations are able to do will be changing daily.
  • Write to your MP asking that refugees are allowed to enter the UK with their companion animals. Can you imagine being offered a place of safety, but told you had to abandon your dog, cat or other animal? You can find their details on https://members.parliament.uk/members/commons
  • Support animal rescue organisations working in the countries receiving the majority of refugees – Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania.

Making donations to organisations working locally is probably the best option, so that your money has the greatest impact and also supports the communities who are at the frontline of welcoming refugees. Organisations you might like to support include:

  • Underdog International, who are specifically working with refugees and their animals arriving in Romania.
  • Vislamentes, who are working in Hungary and delivering supplies to the Ukraine border.

Thinking of all the victims of the war in Ukraine.

 

Photo © Kostyantyn Chernichkin/Kyiv Independent

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