Life-Saving Support for Ukraine’s Animals


© Courtesy of Vets without Borders

As the humanitarian crisis grows, so too does the crisis for animals in Ukraine.

Veterinarians without Borders – Canada is urgently raising funds to support shelter animals in Ukraine by providing direct support to animal shelters, organizations on the ground that are transporting food, and by providing animal health support and medical supplies to locations where people and their animals have fled, including to bordering countries where the need is and will be great.

Thousands of animals in shelters across Ukraine are in desperate need of food, water, and basic resources in order to survive. In addition to supporting multiple shelters directly, Veterinarians without Borders has a crucial partnership with a food delivery coalition that is supplying food to over 700 partners caring for Ukraine’s war-stricken animals.

Veterinarians without Borders is on the ground doing a real-time assessment of the needs and gaps in programming to ensure that animals are not forgotten and working with governments and communities on mitigating zoonotic disease, in particular rabies outbreaks.

The images of people fleeing with their pets—often carrying their pets for miles on foot to reach safer ground—are a testament to the love we all share for our animals.

The circumstances for pet owners are heartbreaking. Under threat of death, people in Ukraine are faced with excruciating decisions regarding their pets: do they stay and risk death because they cannot bear to leave their animals? Do they flee and leave them behind to fend for themselves? Do they decide to leave, take their animals to a shelter, and hope they survive the war?

Executive Director Charmaine Brett is in daily direct contact with many partner shelters.

Animals in Ukraine
© Courtesy of Vets without Borders

“One shelter has over 1,000 dogs and 300 cats in their care, and there is no electricity or water. The conditions under which they are operating are staggering. They have become part of the backbone within the communities still standing.

“I was sent harrowing images and video of blasted out windows of the shelter buildings, and entire dog enclosures completely destroyed. You can see craters from shelling freshly borne on the grounds of the property, just feet from the dogs, with the dogs in obvious distress. A loud barrage of firing can be heard around the shelter.

“We know people want to help these animals and their caregivers. This is an opportunity for animal lovers and businesses to provide immediate support. We know Canadians will step up to help these animals.”

“It’s a terrifying situation for Ukrainians and the animals. But to see the funds we are raising in action—food and other resources being delivered directly to the animals and caregivers most in need—is incredibly encouraging. There is so much love, care and comfort given to these animals, who are equally traumatized by the war as their caregivers. It is reassuring to know that even amid so much devastation, good people want to care for and protect vulnerable animals.”

People are encouraged to donate emergency funds for animals in crisis in Ukraine through Veterinarians without Borders.

Donate at

Animals in Ukraine
© Vets without Borders
Animals in Ukraine
© Vets without Borders
Animals in Ukraine
© Vets without Borders

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Veterinarians Without Borders’ mission is to work for, and with, communities in need to foster the health of animals, people, and the environments that sustain us.


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