WARNING: Content contains disturbing topics and images.
Many people have stayed behind in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion to keep animals safe, but sadly, not all animal advocates have been able to do so. When the invasion began at the end of February 2022, an animal shelter in Borodyanka had 485 dogs in its care. But Russian soldiers were near the shelter, so the dogs were all alone for weeks.
Now that the Russian troops are moving away from the shelter, people have finally been able to get to the dogs. But sadly, the shelter is left in one of the most tragic conditions possible.
Shelter Dogs Suffer
Animal rights organization UAnimals wanted to help, but volunteers weren’t able to have access to the shelter dogs until April 1st, 2022. So, at that point, the dogs had gone without food and water for weeks. Animal advocates knew the shelter’s state would be awful, but they still weren’t prepared for what they saw next.
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Of the 485 animals at the shelter, only about 150 were alive. Deceased dogs were all over the shelter floor, and those that were still alive were in critical condition. Oleksandra Matviichuk from the Center for Civil Liberties shared a video of what they saw on Twitter, but it’s extremely difficult to watch. The video shows volunteers walking past the dogs’ bodies as other dogs bark for help.
“A few days ago, we were shocked by the terrible news — more than 300 dogs were killed in Borodyanka Animal Shelter… The animals were not killed by bombings…they died a terrible death without food and water, locked in their cells,” UAnimals said in a statement. “We have to hold everyone accountable who silenced and contributed to the tragedy.”
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The dogs hadn’t been directly killed by Russian troops, but they had suffered a long, painful death because of the invasion. No one had come to help them before UAnimals arrived, so the organization is demanding justice for the dogs. They believe some individuals could’ve saved the dogs but chose not to.
Never Give Up
As heartbreaking as this situation is, pointing fingers isn’t the best thing to do. Right now, the priority is to ensure that all the remaining animals survive. UAnimals gave food and water to the survivors and sent the dogs that were near death to veterinarians. Some dogs passed away at the vet, but many of them are still clinging on to life.
Even if shelter staff had stayed behind to protect these animals, the dogs still would’ve been in danger. Many organizations in Ukraine are lacking the supplies and resources they normally get to provide for their animals. Sadly, many volunteers have also died trying to protect homeless animals. But that won’t stop UAnimals from doing everything they can to save the dogs who are suffering.
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UAnimals is taking in as many dogs as they can, but they can’t do it on their own. They’re offering about $1,700 to anyone who can take in the dogs that they’re unable to handle. If you’d like to help support the recovery process for the surviving dogs, you can donate to UAnimals. Of course, every donation can make a difference, but it’s still difficult for them to care for so many dogs without more volunteers.
Watch the Horrific Video Here:
— Oleksandra Matviichuk (@avalaina) April 3, 2022