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Ukraine Updates

ARK rescuing dog in flooding in Ukraine
© Animal Rescue Kharkiv

A teal and green background

Even through the dark horror of war, beacons of hope shine in Ukraine! With PETA’s support, Animal Rescue Kharkiv (ARK) is determined to save lives—four legs at a time. Over 800 cats, dogs, and other animals are now safe, thanks to their heroic rescuers. And every day, ARK drives into battle zones to continue its mission, showering these often shell-shocked souls with comfort, food, and affection. Food, which is difficult to find in Ukraine, comes with a hefty price tag, so PETA Germany ensures that it’s delivered each month to fill thousands of animals’ stomachs. So far, more than 3.5 million pounds of it have been delivered.

White and grey rabbits

Love flows from ARK’s staff and volunteers. At the group’s bomb-proof cat rehabilitation center—where these animals go to wait for new guardians or to be reunited with their old ones—children, students, other volunteers, and even soldiers help these refugees through the war with comforting words and hands. When they play with the cats or take them into their arms, the center becomes a bastion of compassion against the barbarism of a war that has taken so many lives.

A mother duck and her ducklings

Before the war, ARK’s clinic cared for around 70 animals each week, but after a bomb destroyed parts of the facility, PETA helped the group build a safer, larger clinic to better withstand the increasing intensity of the fighting and take in more animals in need. The facility now cares for around 130 animals every day.

“Everyone is doing something, and we are trying to care for and evacuate animals. This is a small contribution to changing the reality of the war. Everyday life should go on. Every day is a small victory. But shrapnel does not stop at animals. They are mute and helpless victims of this war, have open wounds, broken bones, are traumatized or have lost trust in people after being exposed to shelling for days on end, sometimes with and sometimes without their families.”

—Olena Donets, ARK Rescuer

ARK’s motto is “May life overcome everything.” The group’s rescuers not only give up their own comfort and convenience but also risk their lives to get animals out of areas that are under constant bombardment. In addition, they rescue elderly and defenseless people who can’t escape on their own.

Recently, German journalist Hilke Lorenz wrote about ARK’s work in a major German publication, concluding her article with a profound reflection on the desperate misery and distress that animals surrounded by war are forced to endure:

On their videos of the rescue missions, you can see burning houses or clouds of smoke on the horizon, sometimes interrupted by detonations. Above all, however, you see the reality of war—destroyed houses, broken furniture, farms left behind in a hurry, desolation and despair among the people who miraculously survive. And again and again animals. Dogs whose bodies dance with joy because they finally have human contact again. And those who hide under the sofa in panic because their world is in shambles. A dehydrated pig stuck in the mud. A cow [who] can barely stand on [her] feet. A goat with her twelve kids. Rabbits in hutches that nobody looks after anymore. And again and again, cats and dogs.

—Hilke Lorenz, Stuttgarter Nachrichten
A white rabbit looks at the camera

How PETA-supported teams have been lifesaving heroes for animals in Ukraine since the onset of the war:

  • They’ve rescued more than 16,500 dogs, cats, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and others, losing three vehicles to bombs in the process.
  • Despite often almost insurmountable obstacles, they’ve delivered more than 3.5 million pounds of food and other provisions to animals in need.
  • They’ve reunited 60% of rescued animals with their guardians who were forced to flee and transported the remaining 40% to partner shelters in Europe.
  • PETA’s Global Compassion Fund helped establish a veterinary clinic in October 2022. Up to 130 seriously injured and ill animals are operated on and given the best possible care there every day.
  • More than 80 PETA-supported employees work on site to care for the animals there and rescue 50 to 70 animals each day.

Contributions to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund are the lifeblood of this vital work, making it all possible:

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PETA’s Global Compassion Fund is supported exclusively by the contributions of kind individuals like you. Your gift is helping PETA entities and partners create positive, sustainable change in corners of the Earth where animals desperately need assistance—and may have no other hope.

Your generous support helps make the world a better place for all beings. Please, give what you can today.

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