Many of you will be aware of the impact of the deepening crisis in Ukraine on human and non-human victims of Russia’s invasion. We have seen people fleeing the war with their beloved companion animals (including dogs and cats). In one very moving case, a woman carried her 12 year old German shepherd for many miles seeking safety in Poland.

 

Some of you have asked how Freedom for Animals can assist animals caught up in the crisis. As you know Freedom for Animals campaigns for an end to the abuse and exploitation of animals in the name of entertainment. As we are a small charity based in the UK, we focus our resources on UK and Ireland issues. Although we cannot assist animals in Ukraine directly, there are a number of organisations working on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding countries, including Poland, Romania and Moldova to provide food and veterinary care for companion animals. These include Four Paws and Nowzad (the latter has extensive experience of rescuing companion animals from similar circumstances in Afghanistan), which have set up reception centres for people and their companion animals in those countries bordering Ukraine.

 

We have also been monitoring the situation at Ukraine Zoo where a large number of animals are being kept in very poor conditions. EAZA and the zoo community are trying to provide the zoo with resources, but this is a very good example of why such zoos should be closed for good – they are simply unable to provide wild animals with their basic needs. Kyiv zoo was failing before the current crisis and eventually we would like to see it closed and its captive residents transferred to a fully accredited sanctuary where their needs can be provided and their suitability for release back to the wild assessed. We will continue to work with other like-minded organisations towards the day that all zoos have closed, and all animals are free.