WITH YOUR HELP today, we promise to rush lifesaving food to the 24 innocent service dogs (and to as many as 500 street dogs in Kharkiv). WITHOUT OUR HELP, they will die. That is a certainty!
A few days ago, our team in Ukraine received a deeply distressing call from a prison manager near Kharkiv, begging for our help. According to the manager, the prison’s service dogs are no longer being fed. These skin-and-bone animals are locked in their enclosures and literally starving to death. Of course, our team immediately alerted us, and we have promised to do everything we can to help.
No one knows exactly why these service dogs are not being fed, but the most likely explanation is that state funding has either dried up or that organizations on the ground which once fed them may have stopped operating. This is a war zone, and not only are animals at the bottom of everyone’s priority list (except ours, and yours!), but some organizations are tragically no longer even in existence. What has happened to them doesn’t even bear thinking about.
Network for Animals has received hundreds of pleas for help from shelters and organizations across Ukraine begging for help in feeding their animals. Pet food supplies have all but dried up and it’s far too dangerous for people to travel to find food for their animals, or to venture out to feed the unfortunate dogs and cats living on the streets.
Can you believe that some street animals have managed to survive two months of war? We can’t even begin to imagine the physical and emotional state they must be in, having spent months dodging bullets and bombs to find tiny scraps of food, feed their litters and just stay alive.
Our goal is to help as many organizations feed their animals as possible, which is why we partnered with pet food manufacturer, Vetmarket Pluriton, a few weeks ago. Their team not only produces 21 TONS of pet food every week, but they are brave enough to travel into some of the most dangerous and devastated areas to feed the animals who need it most.
Like at the prison near Kharkiv…
Here, 24 service dogs – bred for service and used for security patrols at the prison – have been slowly starving to death as the prison survived a bombing and the inmates continued to be fed. We are so grateful to the prison manager who contacted us in desperation as he could no longer watch the animals dying before his eyes.
The dogs need roughly 1,300 pounds (600 kilos) of food per month to survive, and Vetmarket is able to drop this food directly at the prison gate where it will be collected and distributed to the ravenous animals. Prices for pet food have soared and one of our biggest challenges is raising enough funds to feed all the animals. If we can raise the maximum amount possible, we can feed not only the prison dogs, but literally thousands of starving dogs around Ukraine.
Vetmarket now also has a team of volunteers who go to their warehouse near Kharkiv and collect NFA food to hand out to the animals on the streets. They know where the trapped animals are – animals who have tragically been tied up or locked up on people’s properties – and they throw food to them. These are deadly missions, as they skirt close to occupied areas every day and are risking their lives to keep the animals from starving to death.