Kyiv/Vienna, 21 December 2022 – Global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has partnered with the Ukranian office of the Small Animal Veterinary Association (USAVA), an umbrella organisation uniting and providing for small animal veterinary practices across the country. At the moment the focus lies on the three most affected Ukrainian cities by the war: Mykolayiv, Sumy and Zaporizhzhia.
Together they help in re-opening veterinary clinics, to take care of pets and strays alike with vaccinations, sterilisations and other medical treatments. In the first phase of the programme, starting with December, 600 dogs and cats will be sterilised and vaccinated. FOUR PAWS has been ongoingly active in Ukraine for over ten years.
The 24th of December marks ten months since Russia started its relentless war against neighbouring country Ukraine. Not only has that created millions of displaced families across Europe and Ukraine, but also a vast amount of homeless animals. Many courageous veterinarians stayed behind to ensure that these stray animals were looked after and protected.
“The collaboration comes in a crucial moment, with the winter looming over Europe, intensifying the daily struggle for so many, humans and animals alike. Without any shelter stray dogs and cats account for the most vulnerable creatures. A key asset of the programme is also that it reaches out to local shelters and volunteers who take care of strays and let them know which clinics they can bring animals for free treatments.”
Manuela Rowlings, Head of Stray Animal Care (SAC) in Europe at FOUR PAWS
Efforts of food delivery in the cold continues
Since March 2022, Ukranian Pet Association Worldwide (UPAW), a platform established by FOUR PAWS together with partners, has taken care of the distribution of almost 1,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid, which has helped more than 110,000 dogs and cats.
During the last days an emergency feeding of stray dogs and cats has been carried out in the city of Mykolayiv and neighbouring region Kershon, in the Southern part of Ukraine – one of the most shelled areas in recent months. 24 tonnes of food could be delivered which helped to the feeding of many malnourished strays that are roaming the bombed streets.
Rowlings adds: “We were in the midst of setting up a sustainable dog population project in Mykolayiv, when the invasion started. Until then we worked in a stationary veterinary clinic and by February we were able to sterilise 1,000 dogs. Now the city has become one of the most bombed cities in Ukraine. It is good that we are back to deliver the urgently needed help.”
FOUR PAWS has been working on companion animal projects in Ukraine since 2012 and the SAC team has delivered much needed veterinary care to 30,000 stray dogs and cats in over 60 municipalities over the last ten years. The team in Ukraine is operating a mobile clinic, carrying out catch-neuter-vaccinate-return projects in different municipalities in the country.
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FOUR PAWS is the global animal welfare organisation for animals under direct human influence, which reveals suffering, rescues animals in need and protects them. Founded in 1988 in Vienna by Heli Dungler and friends, the organisation advocates for a world where humans treat animals with respect, empathy and understanding. The sustainable campaigns and projects of FOUR PAWS focus on companion animals including stray dogs and cats, farm animals and wild animals – such as bears, big cats and orangutans – kept in inappropriate conditions as well as in disaster and conflict zones. With offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Africa, Thailand, Ukraine, the UK, the USA and Vietnam as well as sanctuaries for rescued animals in eleven countries, FOUR PAWS provides rapid help and long-term solutions. www.four-paws.org