Update: AWI Fundraises for Animals and Their Families Impacted by War in Ukraine

A woman crouches down while kissing her small tan dog on the head.
Photo by Narcis Pop, Speranta

Washington, DC—As people around the world continue to watch in horror at the devastated communities and swelling numbers of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) is committed to supporting animal welfare groups that are working tirelessly to house, feed, and care for animals affected by the ongoing crisis. In March, AWI distributed nearly $25,000 to seven organizations in Ukraine and neighboring countries that run or support private and public shelters, veterinary clinics, zoos, and rescue and rehabilitation centers providing desperately needed care. AWI also established a fundraiser to help expand our efforts. Thanks to your very generous donations, AWI has funded seven additional organizations, along with increasing our initial donation to FOUR PAWS International. In total, we have distributed nearly $80,000 to 14 organizations to aid animals suffering as a result of the war.

The organizations we have funded to date are:

  • Animal Society: This Romanian organization is assisting companion animals of Ukrainian refugees crossing into Romania. Veterinarians, psychologists, and volunteers are providing medical care, food, blankets, and other supplies at two primary locations.
  • Asociatia Save Our Paws: This Romanian organization is supporting refugees and their companion animals by assisting them with documents they need to travel to other European countries with their animals. The organization is also offering accommodations for companion animals, and providing food and supplies.
  • Casa lui Patrocle Animal Rescue: This Romanian organization is providing food, microchips, vaccines, and other medical services to animals crossing the border from Ukraine with their families. They are also helping to find temporary housing or permanent shelter for Ukrainian animals who have been separated from their families.
  • FOUR PAWS International: This global organization has been providing refugees with supplies, medical care, and temporary accommodation for companion animals after they cross into Romania and Moldova. FOUR PAWS is offering bags of dog and cat food, leashes and harnesses, pet carriers, and pet beds, which AWI is providing funds to help purchase. The organization is also launching a pilot pet and family reunification program and has helped develop an emergency website and logistical platform that provides a way for animal shelters and volunteers to request food and supplies and connect with donors. The project has delivered over 475 tons of pet food across Ukraine. Separately, FOUR PAWS has acquired and delivered food for animals in Ukrainian zoos. FOUR PAWS also operates Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr, which has been accepting bears evacuated from zoos and rescues. AWI is helping to fund the evacuated bears’ medical care.  
  • Gyvūnų Gerovės Iniciatyvos: This Lithuanian organization is helping Ukrainian animal shelters obtain food and supplies, providing information about border entry requirements, and preparing shelters in Lithuania to accept animals from Ukraine.
  • Happy Paw: This Ukrainian organization works to protect homeless animals within the country. Happy Paw is coordinating supply deliveries to more than 60 animal shelters across Ukraine to help feed and shelter animals caught in the crossfire.
  • Romanian League in Defense of Animals (ROLDA): This international organization helps homeless animals in Romania, and is supporting Ukrainian animals by raising funds and delivering food to animal shelters in Ukraine; providing emergency veterinary care, pet food, and pet supplies to families crossing into Romania; and assisting refugees with their companion animals’ papers so that they can continue their journey to Western Europe.
  • Save the Dogs and Other Animals: This Romanian organization has been assisting refugees crossing into Romania by providing them with pet carriers, leashes, bowls, blankets, and food, allowing them to continue their journey to safety. They have also worked to help shelter animals by increasing capacity at the organization’s Romanian shelter and bringing evacuated dogs to the facility, as well as by dispatching over 10 tons of pet food to animal shelters in Ukraine.
  • Sirius: This organization runs Ukraine’s largest animal shelter, housing over 3,000 companion animals in the Kyiv region. The area encompassing the shelter is surrounded by Russian troops, and the facility has been relying heavily on local citizens to purchase food and supplies until a humanitarian corridor can be established.  
  • Speranta Shelter: This Romanian organization is providing medical assistance, food, pet carriers, and other supplies to support refugees crossing into Romania. The organization is also allowing their shelter to be used as temporary accommodations for dogs for up to six months.
  • UAnimals: This Ukrainian organization is purchasing and delivering food across Ukraine to help animal shelters, zoos, and wildlife rehabilitation centers restock their dwindling food supplies.
  • Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation: This Ukrainian organization is delivering horse feed, bedding, and veterinary supplies to stables in Ukraine, transporting horses to safer regions in Ukraine, operating evacuation shelters, and providing veterinary services.
  • Viva! Poland: This Polish organization is rescuing animals from Ukraine and caring for them in their Korabiewice shelter, which houses cats, dogs, horses, and farm animals. Funds are being used to purchase food and medicine, transport animals, and deliver food to shelters still operating in Ukraine.
  • White Paw Organisation eV: This German nonprofit organization is coordinating sheltering and fostering services for Ukraine’s animals and supplying pallets of animal feed at the Polish border. 

We welcome additional donations to help support the important work of animal welfare organizations aiding animals impacted by the war in Ukraine. These funds will address critical short-term needs and assist longer-term efforts to rebuild. You can donate in three ways:

  • Through our Facebook fundraiser.
  • Through our website (click on the “donate” button and, in the comments section, designate your gift for “Ukraine”).
  • Mailing a check to AWI with “Ukraine” noted in the memo.

We will send 100% of these contributions to verified organizations. Your gifts help ease the suffering of these animals and strengthen hope that they can experience a stable, peaceful future beyond the current crisis — a fervent hope we extend to all Ukrainians.

The Animal Welfare Institute (awionline.org) is a nonprofit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates and other important animal protection news.

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