Since the Russian troops invaded Ukraine, thousands of people have fled, some with their pets in transport boxes – others had to leave their four-legged friends behind.
Ukrainians are trying to leave the country as quickly as possible, long queues are forming at railway stations and border crossings, many are on foot and also have their pets with them. The pictures taken by photographer Vadim Ghirda show how the fleeing people take their four-legged friends with them in their arms or in transport boxes. It is unclear how many animals had to be left behind and what will become of them.
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The star stallion Cornet Obolensky is also on a Ukrainian stud farm with 200 other horses – but the current situation is also uncertain here.
Ukrainians depend on donations
Animal shelters and animal protection organisations need donations, especially in this state of emergency. Animal protectors are on site to take care of the four-legged friends left behind, but food is becoming scarce, as the animal shelter “Priut Best Friends” west of Kiev reports on Facebook: “The gunshots and bombs are coming very close. The shelter is regularly shaken by the explosions. There is enough food for two more days.”
The Romanian association “Casa lui Patrocle” from Suceava, 40 kilometres from the Ukrainian border, offers help to arriving war refugees and their pets. On Facebook they write: “We will do our best to find accommodation and veterinary care for the animals – no matter if dog, cat, horse, cattle or poultry”.
The humanitarian aid organisation Equiwent promises help for people and animals. The most eastern Equiwent clinic is located in the border area. “Equiwent will take care of the refugees. We will be a qualified contact, especially for the children. Our social services and medical staff are mobilised. In addition, there is free medical care for the rescued animals and also the provision of feed,” the organisation writes on its website.