Many Ukrainians who were forced to evacuate due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine simply left their pets to fend for themselves.
Due to the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation into Ukraine in shelters the number of homeless animals has increased by 60% from the beginning of 2022.
As noted on the page of the animal protection organization Save Pets of Ukrainecurrently the number of animals in shelters has increased by 20-30% in the rear regions of the country, by 60% in animal volunteers from the frontline regions, and by 100% in shelters near the front.
In total, the organization conducted a census of 510 Ukrainian animal shelters and found that as of January 2023, 25,799 dogs and 19,473 cats are under the supervision of volunteers. Their number is constantly increasing.
“Due to the lack of places in shelters, hybrid forms of care are more actively used: over-housing, feeding animals on the street,” the study says.
Animal rights activists say that mainly domestic animals that people simply left behind during the evacuation due to the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation enter the shelter.
The war also had a negative impact on the animal protection programs that volunteers had started to reduce the proliferation of stray dogs and animals. In particular, it is about their free sterilization.
Also, facilities do not have enough resources to accommodate such a large number of animals. There is a constant shortage of medicines, feed, and professional staff who could care for them. The situation is worsened by constant blackouts.
The shelters located in the front-line territories need urgent evacuation, remind animal rights activists.
Increase in homeless animals due to Russian aggression
Currently, more than 80 species of animals in Ukraine are on the verge of extinction due to armed Russian aggression. During the first months of the invasion, the Russians managed to occupy 8 nature reserves and 12 national parks. Representatives of the UAnimals movement created their images with the help of artificial intelligence in order to draw people’s attention to the problem.
According to experts, Ukraine even before the beginning of the Russian invasion was among the top 10 countries in terms of the number of homeless animals. Now the situation has worsened significantly. Because of this, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a resolution on regulating the number of homeless animals. They should be caught, treated and handed over to animal rights activists, according to European practices.