Ukrainian animals receive $174,427 in aid from Helen Woodward Animal Center

Just over two weeks ago, Helen Woodward Animal Center released a call for support for the Ukrainian people and their animals. Not even a week later, in a heartwarming display of compassion and kindness, American friends not only answered that appeal, but topped the $50,000 requested. Now, as the stories of over 4 million refugees and their furry friends continue to flood our newsfeed, animal lovers across the United States are proving they intend to keep supporting our distant friends, even as supplies and financial support begin to flow to those in need.

The Center is proud to announce that as of today, $174,427 in assistance was gifted by our animal lovers to theirs with more to come.

More than four weeks ago, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in an escalating Russian-Ukrainian war that began in 2014. The largest conventional military attack on a sovereign state in Europe since the World War II, millions of Ukrainian citizens fled their homes with only their most prized possessions, including their beloved pets. Unfortunately, the safe passage of furry friends is just one of the many challenges facing Ukrainian animal lovers. Some pets have been lost in the race to flee the war-torn country; shelter volunteers were killed while trying to care for the shelter’s remaining animals; food, money and warmth are sorely lacking; and Ukrainian shelters face destruction and violence.

ukrainian animals, $174,427 in aid, helen woodward animal center

True to its mission of people helping animals and animals helping people, on March 10, Helen Woodward Animal Center pledged $50,000 to Ukrainian animal welfare efforts with a heartfelt appeal to local animal lovers to match commitment for a total of $100,000 in assistance. In less than a week, the request to match the Center’s pledge of $50,000 exceeded $67,000. Famous friends of the Center like Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton and social media-famous kitten Smush have shared the Helen Woodward Animal Center campaign with millions of social media followers and donations have begun to flow. arrive, in an inspiring show of support. At the time of this publication, the animal-loving community has donated over $124,000, totaling nearly $175,000 with the Center’s original donation.

Helen Woodward Animal Center facilitated the transfer of these funds to Ukrainian refugee pet owners, as well as shelters in need in Ukraine through Tallinn City Government Chief Specialist Hellika Landsmann of the Estonian Animal Welfare Society and TOZ General Secretary Danuta Mikusz-Oslislo of the Polish Society for the Protection of Animals. Both connect with associates of UAnimals, a Ukrainian non-profit animal rights organization, working valiantly to help struggling animal welfare groups trapped in war-torn areas, as well as animals from company of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland, Latvia and Estonia. with little more than a single suitcase and their furry friends.

This weekend, Geit Karurahu of the Estonia Animal Welfare Society reported the following: “Yesterday we transferred half of the donation to UAnimals. The other half we used for shelter animals in need of rescue from Ukraine and for pets who fled Ukraine with their owners. We are working with Lithuanian organizations to agree that their country will let the animals in and keep them in quarantine. We will help them pay for transport, vaccinations, etc. Our Agriculture and Food Council visits the pets that have fled here and we let them know that if the animals need more vaccines or other help, we will help pay the bill. .

Along with the updates, photos were sent in by Estonian and Polish animal welfare groups to show the set-up at border sites as well as distribution areas to help Ukrainian pet owners in need. Helen Woodward Animal Center is committed to sending more financial support as donations continue to come in.

ukrainian animals, $174,427 in aid, helen woodward animal center

“It is important that donors understand that 100% of everything we have received has been sent directly to support the Ukrainian animal crisis,” explained Mike Arms, President and CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center. “The Center even covers the cost of any bank fees charged when transferring funds so that animal lovers who donate to this cause can be assured that their money is being used to help with relief efforts and to ensure that loving pets receive food. , heat and medical care.

For help or more information, go to www.animalcenter.org/ukraine. You can also call 858-756-4117 or visit the Helen Woodward Animal Center at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

Benjamin M. Yerger