Rescuing animals during disasters – Europesave human lives by saving animals before, during and after disasters
(The Hague – 26 September 2022) Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) has been issuing emergency grants to animal organizations in Ukraine and neighboring European countries, helping over 75,000 animals to date.
After the immediate response needs at the borders slowed down, IFAW started working on long-term measures to improve the welfare of animals in Ukraine. Our work includes free vaccination, chipping and sterilisation programs in Ukrainian cities.
“Our team is working effortlessly every day to provide emergency rescue and relief support to alleviate the suffering of animals, who are often the forgotten victims of war,” says Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Senior Program Officer of IFAW’s Disaster Response & Risk Reduction work in Europe. “We are continually amazed by the bravery of the many animal heroes we’ve partnered within and outside Ukraine—from the veterinarians who help refugees with their pets at border crossings to the caretakers who protect wildlife from within the country. The conflict, the confusion, the stress and the trauma of war is ongoing, but so is our support.”
As part of its multi-year commitment to animals in Ukraine, IFAW started a project in partnership with the Ukrainian Small Animals Veterinary Association (USAVA) to support veterinary services and pet owners in Ukraine. The project aims to vaccinate and chip 20,000 and sterilise 4,000 owned pets from displaced and resident families at veterinary posts in four key cities—Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv and Odessa. These services will be provided for free to meet the needs of many pet owners who do not have sufficient funds.
With the conflict ongoing and winter coming soon, IFAW still receives daily aid requests from shelters and other animal organisations. To help the many thousands of animals in need all over Ukraine, IFAW continues to support the purchase of pet food and veterinary supplies.
IFAW also works across Europe to promote the ongoing welfare of refugee animals and captive wildlife relocated from Ukraine through regulatory and policy support. One of IFAW’s political goals is to have animals included in all national and regional disaster preparedness and response plans, as keeping families together is a fundamental aspect of IFAW’s disaster response approach.
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