Supporting Refugees & Pets, Animal Shelters & Rescue
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), a global leader in animal rescue and emergency care, has been at the forefront of the crisis providing urgent support to animals and refugees.
Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine 100+ days ago. IFAW’s Disaster Response team, together with our partners has directly helped more than 42,000 animals, most of which were cats and dogs but also tigers and bears. We have been working tirelessly to support refugees and their pets, source dog and cat food / supplies for animal shelters, fund zoos, and facilitate animal rescues. We began working with animal shelters in Ukraine following the 2014 Russian invasion and will continue to be there for the pets and wildlife caught in this conflict.How to Help
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- Ukrainian Refugees with Pets : Refugees have their pets/families with them and just want to remain together. We're working to make sure they do. Dogs and cats are often hungry, dehydrated and showing signs of hypothermia. Most need to be processed for further cross-border travel. One example is Shatabdi and her cat Crimsee. With her pet cat tucked in her shirt, Shatabdi walked over 37 miles to Poland with no food or water.
We're delivering pet food and supplies daily while working with local organizations and authorities on need-based logistics. As we have done in past disasters, we partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK) to provide relief to families and their pets.
- Animal Shelters : In 2014, following the Russian invasion, IFAW partnered with animal shelters in Ukraine. Our most recent communications indicate our partner shelters are operational but have done so at the same tragic cost to life the world is watching unfold across Ukraine. The emergency funding these shelters receive or received from IFAW covers pet food, veterinary supplies and wages for daily care staff.
- Animal Rescue : You may have seen the news about the lions, tigers, and other animals that we helped care for following their dramatic evacuation from Ukraine to a zoo in Poland. The first evacuation attempt failed, but the second was successful despite initially coming under fire from Russian tanks. We've also helped support relocations for a bear sanctuary and expect to continue animal rescues.
We sure could use your help.
Visit our donation form to join us.
CNN interview on IFAW’s Ukraine response, focusing on our animal service tent and continuous support for rescue work in the country.
Ukrainian organizations in need can contact IFAW at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ukraine Aid FAQ
Q: What about the people? Why are we helping the animals?
A: The immediate needs during times of conflict are always focused on the safety of the people involved. However, we know from our rescue work around the world that animals are often the forgotten victims of conflict and war. Many animal shelters, sanctuaries and individual guardians refuse to evacuate because they do not want to leave their animals - placing them all in danger. It is our job to focus on the animals in times like this because we know that by helping the animals, we are also helping people.
Q: Can you get the animals out of the country?
A: Many families with pets are trying to evacuate the country. We hope that neighboring countries will allow pets to remain with their family during this crisis. Our shelter partners would require additional, extensive permissions to transport shelter dogs into another country and there are many risks of travelling with so many lives at stake.
Q: Can you get food and veterinary supplies into the country?
A: In many Ukraine cities there are still veterinary supplies and animal food available for purchase. IFAW is fulfilling specific requests for these items by wiring funds so that local organizations can buy items themselves. If a non-Ukraine based organization has animal food or veterinary supplies for animals in Ukraine, we recommend that they work through collaborative efforts to verify the items are needed and where they are needed. Many local organizations have posted wish lists citing a request for the supplies to be delivered when possible or asking for financial donations so that they can purchase the supplies themselves.