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Hope and Healing: Making a Difference for Animals in Ukraine

It’s been over two years since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, we have been working closely with our partners in Ukraine to provide the funds, resources and support needed to help the people and animals impacted by the war. Our partners on the ground have saved thousands of animal lives. While the work is far from finished, we want to take a moment to highlight the ongoing work of one of our outstanding Shelter Partners, Sirius Shelter.

Sirius Shelter stands as Ukraine’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals, dedicating two decades to enhancing the welfare of stray animals. Their efforts have facilitated the adoption of 10,000 animals into loving homes, administered over 12,000 sterilization surgeries, and provided critical medical care to countless others.

Since the Russian invasion began, Sirius has faced enormous challenges, including a 35-day period in which the shelter was under Russian occupation. They became hostages of the war and victims of its cruelty. Destroyed bridges and blockades made it impossible for them to get the food and medicine needed for the animals in their care. Animals suffered greatly from hunger and stress. The shelter’s infrastructure suffered severe damage from artillery fire. But the team at Sirius Shelter never gave up. They refused to leave the animals behind, and most of the animals survived because of their bravery.

Among those lucky animals are Jabberwocky and the Kid, two tiny 6-year-old dogs who both lost one eye each from an exploding shell. A volunteer found them and brought them to Sirius for help. Despite their best efforts, the team could not save their eyesight, but this resilient duo is now safe and happy. They love spending every minute together.

Similarly, Sirius saved Misha. Misha had been at the frontlines of the war alongside a hero who rescued her and tried his best to keep her safe. But life in a war zone is dangerous, and Misha unfortunately lost a leg on the battlefield. Despite this, she is still the dog she was before – cheerful, energetic, happy every day and ready to share this joy with everyone. While her human had to return to the frontlines, Sirius Shelter has become a safe haven for Misha.

Despite operating amidst the chaos of war, Sirius Shelter is committed to its mission to uplift the lives of animals in the region. They are the heroes on the ground, risking their lives every day to save animals. We stand in awe of their dedication and courage and are proud to support their efforts, including assisting in much-needed shelter repairs.