(Washington, D.C. — March 4, 2022)— Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left local animal shelters in a dire situation. They report overflowing kennels, and a lack of food and supplies for staff and animals.
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) has rushed emergency aid to several local animal partner shelters, including Shelter Pif in Donetsk and Holivka Shelter in Gorlovka. Holivka Shelter reports their facility was damaged and one dog killed after a shell hit their premises. IFAW has placed trained responders on standby to deploy and assist local and regional partners at short notice.
“Animals are often the forgotten victims of conflict and war. Many animal shelters, sanctuaries and individual guardians refuse to evacuate and leave their animals behind. This places them all in immediate 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,” said Shannon Walajtys, Director for Disaster Response & Risk Reduction at IFAW.
The tremendous public support of IFAW’s efforts during this conflict has enabled additional unmet needs to be identified for animals and their guardians in Ukraine. Emergency aid has been issued to organizations caring for wildlife in Ukraine, as well as the Poznan zoo in Poland. The zoo is assisting in the evacuation and care of wildlife from multiple wildlife sanctuaries in Ukraine.
IFAW has also sent an emergency grant to partner World Central Kitchen, an organization serving meals to residents and first responders in Ukraine. The organization also has teams at eight border crossings in Poland and are onsite in Romania and Moldova. They intend to expand relief efforts to Slovakia and Hungary.
In addition to providing emergency aid, IFAW launched a resource page for people and their pets fleeing the violence. The page maintains a list of countries who will waive entry requirements for those evacuating with their pets.
Photos are available upon request.
About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) - IFAW is a global non-profit helping animal and people thrive together. We are experts and everyday people, working across seas, oceans and in more than 40 countries around the world. We rescue, rehabilitate and release animals, and we restore and protect their natural habitats. The problems we’re up against are urgent and complicated. To solve them, we match fresh thinking with bold action. We partner with local communities, governments, non-governmental organizations and businesses. Together, we pioneer new and innovative ways to help all species flourish. See how at ifaw.org