Poland supplies Ukrainian animal shelter where the workers will never abandon their animals

NEWS AND COMMENT: I am pleased to report that Poland supplied enough food and essentials to the Shelter Friend animal shelter near Dnipro, to keep them going for a couple of months. The owner and founder of the shelter, Maryna Bolokhovets, who said that she will never leave, also says that the air raid sirens go off every day and that she is surrounded by the war.

Shelter Friends Dnipro

Fortunately, up until now, Dnipro, has appeared to have missed the worst of the war. Although, sites in Dnipro have been hit with Russian cruise missiles. The city has so far avoided widespread destruction as seen in Mariupol and Kharkiv.

RELATED: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine say that Russians are shelling animal shelters and zoos

It is both the photographs and the resolute attitude of this woman which caught my attention. They are flooded out with animals to care for. For example, one dog at the shelter comes from Mariupol. The dog was delivered to the shelter by a woman who was about to leave Dnipro by train with her two dogs. However, the male dog was so traumatised by the war that she could not coax him to travel.

Shelter Friends, Dnipro.

In early March the shelter took in seven newborn Rottweiler puppies, which you can see in the photograph above. They came from Kharkiv, another Ukrainian city which is under intense bombardment from Russian rockets and missiles.

Bolokhovets took in 125 dogs and 65 cats from a shelter in Kharkiv on March 12. She says that many people have abandon their pets. The shelter has run out of space.

It should be said, however, that a lot of Ukrainian refugees have taken their companion animals with them. However, clearly, a significant number have simply left them behind.

Bolokhovets wants people to adopt some of her animals in her care. The problem is obvious: the country is being destroyed by Russia so it is not an ideal time to adopt an animal. I think that she wants people from outside of Ukraine to adopt the animals. I know that there is a network building in which animal refugees can find their way to safety. The problems are to do with logistics and things such as vaccinations. There’s rabies in Ukraine so you have to be careful not to import rabies into European Union country.

Apparently, the Czech Republic, where before the war many of this shelter’s animals were finding new homes, have halted accepting dogs from Ukraine that are not family pets.

This is a precaution against rabies returning to the Czech Republic. They say that rabies is a common problem in cats and dogs in Ukraine whereas it was eradicated from the Czech Republic in 2004.

Bolokhovets sent her children away to Poland after the war broke out but she said defiantly: “I will never leave the shelter, and my right hand Tetyana will never leave, and our cat-house lady will not leave. It’s just a matter of mentally surviving all of this.”

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