Amidst fighting, Ukraine’s Shelter Pif still rescuing, caring for—even adopting!—dogs

Vostok Battalion members dismantling a Donetsk barricade yesterdaySeparatist forces and Ukrainian soldiers clashed on Donetsk’s outskirts this week, killing at least 19 people and threatening an already fragile cease-fire, according to news reports. We checked in with Victoriya Vasilieva, the executive director of Shelter Pif, on the safety of the staff and the dogs under their care. --SW

We, the shelter team, are holding on.

A lot of people have been injured, and there have been fatalities, too. Many buildings have been completely destroyed. Some places within the city limits have lost power, running water, and phone communication.

We simply don't have the luxury to be afraid or depressed. We have too many animals whose lives depend on us.

There should be enough food for the dogs for the month of June; our major concern at this moment is not to lose power and running water.

Our crew keeps saving homeless animals wounded in shelling, and our vets keep performing surgeries on a regular basis. A power generator is supposed to arrive shortly, and that will allow our equipment to work without interruption.

RELATED: First Ukraine crisis video update: Shelter Pif in Donetsk

Thanks to the support of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, we have lots of good news to report:

One of our handicapped dogs, named Palma, has found a new family! She is now living safely in Germany. Palma lost two legs but the money we raised helped purchase an artificial limb for her and she’s now with her new family.

Thanks to your help and support, we’ve bought an additional three tons of dry food.

The biochemical analyzer that you purchased for our shelter was delivered the other day. Now our veterinarians will be able to make more accurate diagnoses on the four-pawed patients. The ultrasound equipment should be arriving shortly.

Thank you and all the people who help the animals. These creatures depend on people so much and now they are in the hardest conditions possible.


The shelters in Ukraine that we work with desperately need your help. Please donate now.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Gail A'Brunzo, Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Manager, Wildlife Rescue
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy