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The charities supporting animals in Ukraine

Words by Smiley Team

A charity project is making sure no one is left behind – not even our furry friends.

Thousands of people have lost their homes and livelihoods in Ukraine, with many of them seeking refuge in the UK. But with that, comes the complication of furry companions, and what to do with them.

Many pets have, unfortunately, had to be left as their owners flee an active warzone. Others were lucky enough to be brought along for the ride, but all animals from Ukraine must go through a mandatory quarantine process when entering a new country.

To help support our four-legged friends through this crisis – wherever they are – a massive group of charities have come together to create Project UPAW (Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide). Brought together by Dogs Trust Worldwide, Animal ID, and Four Paws International, this incredible project is helping to provide support for the animals affected by the war.

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Volunteers working on the ground

UPAW has a number of volunteers on the ground in Ukraine, helping to provide food for the animals being directly affected, whether they’re zoo animals, pets or strays. So far, 517 tonnes of pet food has been delivered in Ukraine throughout March, April and May, going to help animals who have been affected by the crisis.

With the help of donations, UPAW is also donating much needed medication, transfer boxes, and other medical equipment to shelters and sanctuaries across Ukraine who are trying to help animals as much as they can. Thanks to UPAW organising these donations, the Ukrainian animal shelters are able to provide much needed care to vulnerable animals.

Dogs Trust is one of the organisations taking it one step further, and helping the animals that have managed to make it to the UK with their owners. It is mandatory for animals to be quarantined when entering a new country, to prevent diseases from crossing borders, and so Dogs Trust is one of the charities working to make that process smoother.

The charity has repurposed a selection of their vans and kennels into quarantine facilities, where their vets and volunteers can check the health of the dogs before they are allowed to be reunited with their owners. The team have created a bespoke enrichment programme for the dogs for the duration of their stay, even learning training commands in Ukrainian to help them feel more at home.

For more information on what Project UPAW are doing to take care of our four-legged friends who have been affected by the crisis in Ukraine, as well as a full list of the 16 organisations involved, you can visit their website.

Inspired to act?

DONATE: You can donate through Dogs Trust UK to help them support the efforts of Project UPAW.

VOLUNTEER: To join UPAW’s dedicated team of volunteers, there is contact information on their website.

SUPPORT: Four Paws Worldwide are also taking donations to support the Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr, as well as other organisations in Ukraine.

GET INVOLVED: You can donate to UPAW directly using the link on their website.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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