VIENNA, 20th October 2022 – FOUR PAWS, the global animal welfare organisation, has conducted the first ever survey in Ukraine to find out about the welfare of companion animals during the war and what support is needed by shelters and volunteers in Ukraine to help those animals. The survey showed that the biggest problem is still abandonment of pets alongside the need for sterilisation of animals living on the streets and for pet food for pets, strays and shelter animals. FOUR PAWS carried out the survey to find out where its support is most needed.
FOUR PAWS has been running stray animal care projects in Ukraine for the past ten years and has a team of Ukrainian veterinarians and support staff in this country.
In 2022 FOUR PAWS in coalition with other organisations helped establish Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide (UPAW) which was set up to help shelters, pet owners and volunteers with the challenges they face during the war such as obtaining pet food for the animals in their care.
New figures show since its launch in March of this year, UPAW has received 4,770 requests for help from shelters, pet owners and volunteers with over 47 per cent of those requests being fulfilled. This includes the distribution 944 tons of humanitarian food for dogs and cats either living in shelters or on the streets, as well as the distribution of veterinary drugs, and equipment where needed.
Oksana Koshak, co-founder of UPAW, said, “When the full-scale war began, we realised that along with active hostilities, a humanitarian crisis in Ukraine would start and pets, shelter animals and strays would be among those who would suffer. We now have 130 members of our team all over Ukraine who are helping us to get supplies to shelters and volunteers who are caring for dogs and cats in desperate need.”
“UPAW has been a leading light in helping shelters, volunteers and pet owners through the war across all regions of Ukraine since its set up. The work and efficiency of its team has been remarkable. But as our survey has shown, there is still more to do to ensure that companion animals get access to food, medical treatment, a new home or care in a shelter.
As we have tragically seen over the past few weeks, the military attacks and missile strikes on Ukraine have escalated, so we know the vital work of UPAW and FOUR PAWS will be essential in the protection of animals in the weeks and months ahead.”
Manuela Rowlings, Head of Stray Animal Care (SAC) in Europe at FOUR PAWS
The survey had 670 respondents.
FOUR PAWS´ local SAC team has been active in Ukraine since 2012 and has sterilized and treated close to 30.000 stray animals in over 60 municipalities. Dogs and cats are caught, neutered, vaccinated and returned to the community: the only humane and sustainable way to reduce stray animal populations. FOUR PAWS had to briefly interrupt its Stray Animal Care activities in Ukraine when Russia invaded. Since mid-April however, the SAC activities are back up and running to deliver much needed support for stray animals: both those that were already living on the street as well as beloved pets and shelter animals that were forced to be left behind when their owners fled the country.
FOUR PAWS survey in Ukraine
A survey on the current challenges for dogs and cats and the people taking care of them during the war in Ukraine
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