Credit: Sulala Animal Rescue, Gaza
A puppy and kitten walking on the dry, sandy ground, approach a gentle hand in Gaza.

Help for animals caught up in war.

Emergency grants update: How your support is reaching kindhearted people saving animals in war and conflict zones around the world.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated September 21, 2023

When we think of disaster, we often think of fires, floods, and earthquakes. But war and ongoing political unrest can create even bigger and longer-lasting animal welfare and humanitarian crises; and for many worldwide this is their daily reality. Many in these regions wake to frightening uncertainty daily, sometimes for years or decades on end.  

Long after the media spotlight fades, brave people remain to work tirelessly for the animals who are so often the forgotten victims in some of the most difficult and dangerous circumstances.   

They reinforce our belief that compassion knows no borders and there really is hope for animals everywhere. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Animals Australia’s Emergency Grants Program is helping to provide them with lifesaving support for their work during and in the aftermath of war.  

Active conflict zones are life-threatening for people and animals, but the aftermath can also create long-term dangers like disrupted or diminished food and medical supply, dysfunctional banking systems, and a lack of education and work opportunities, leading to cycles of suffering. 

See below how emergency grants have helped animals, and animal organisations, in Gaza, Afghanistan, Syria, IraqUkraine, and Myanmar.

Rescuers carry a crate with a rescued animal down a steep ditch covered in snow in Afghanistan.
Kabul Small Animal Rescue, Afghanistan
A woman from the Animals Syria team with a red animal crate searches amongst rubble in Syria.
Animals Syria, Syria
A man carries a rescued black and brown dog across a street in Gaza.
Sulala Animal Rescue, Gaza


Sulala Animal Rescue

Our grants program continues to support Gaza’s only animal shelter and animal rescue service – Sulala Animal Rescue. Amidst airstrike attacks again this year, this team responded to endless animal emergencies and provided critical care and shelter support for the many animals who would otherwise have no one looking out for them in this region.

Since the most recent escalation of violence, the people and animals of Gaza sadly remain in extreme danger from relentless bombing, and the flow-on effects that include food scarcity, lack of access to medical or veterinary care, lack of fuel and power, and fresh water. We have launched a special fundraiser for Sulala Animal Rescue, and we continue to explore every possible avenue to help the animals of Gaza and the courageous and compassionate people who are trying to help them.

Despite the extremely difficult and dangerous circumstances, this incredible team’s priority has always been to keep animals safe from harm and suffering, and to promote kindness and understanding for animals in the community. Sulala has previously run regular education programs in schools and through the broader community on animal protection. Their vital work has changed attitudes towards animals, and inspired younger generations of animal lovers — even now, children are rescuing animals and bringing them to Sulala’s founder, Saeed, so that he can do his best to help them.

During war, the animals flee trying to find safety. These poor souls get hurt from explosions and shrapnel. But in daily life, the animals in Gaza are facing a different type of war – mistreatment from those who don’t want them on the streets. They are always afraid.
Saeed Al Err- Founder, Sulala Animal Rescue


Kabul Small Animal Rescue

Located in Kabul, this dedicated team operate an emergency rescue service and shelter for animals across the city. Their work was made all the more challenging after the fall of Kabul and the departure of many international citizens working in the city. The political situation in Afghanistan remains unstable, creating an ongoing challenging environment to live and work in. The number of animals needing help has risen sharply, and the KSAR team have a never-ending job helping everyone they can – animals they refuse to turn away.   

They rehome many rescued animals internationally each year and give veterinary care and love to hundreds of dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and wildlife around the clock at their shelter.   

We are proud to support this compassionate and dedicated team of animal advocates in Afghanistan through our Emergency Grants Program.   


Animals Syria

In February of 2023, a catastrophic earthquake hit Türkiye and Syria. With many thousands dead and millions displaced, the devastating impacts on animals and people were almost incomprehensible. Our grants program provided immediate and lifesaving support to the dedicated team at Animals Syria in the aftermath of the disaster, funding rescue efforts, urgent veterinary supplies, fuel for the transportation of critical care patients, and materials to repair damage to their shelter.

The situation here is unimaginable. Our team are helping anyone – animals, people, anyone who is alive.
Rawas Kilani, Founder of Animals Syria  


War Paws

Iraq is a country that has suffered decades of war and unrest, which has left not only the people of Iraq suffering but also the animals. With a shelter in the Kurdish region, this small team is helping over 600 animals who need them in Iraq. Their mission is to “provide a voice and make a difference for the forgotten animals of war”, which is exactly what they do each day despite working and living in a volatile region.  

Their work extends internationally to help animals in other conflict zones, most recently in Ukraine. They are also tackling issues of animal homelessness by running effective desexing and international adoption programs. Our emergency grant has assisted the War Paws team in building pools and shade areas at their Iraq shelter as they battled record-setting Summers of sweltering heat over 50 degrees Celsius. 

There is still great fear that surrounds the country after so many years of unrest, but we will not walk away from the animals that need our help.
Louise Hastie, War Paws


Sirius Shelter and Pegasus Shelter

Amidst immense suffering and widespread destruction, the brave team at Sirius Shelter in Ukraine continue to help animals during the ongoing devastation of war throughout the country. Our Emergency Grants Program is providing funds to assist this largest shelter in the country to provide critical care and refuge for thousands of rescued animals by funding veterinary care, equipment to transport and treat animals and materials to build essential shelter until animals can be safely rehomed or reunited.   

Following the catastrophic flooding of the Kakhovka dam in Ukraine, our emergency grants again supported local rescuers from Pegasus Shelter to help animals caught up in the disaster.    


Let’s Save the Strays

The military coup in Myanmar continues to create conflict throughout the country, putting animals and people at risk. International volunteers have been scarce since the coup began in 2021, and the threat of danger is still a daily presence. But despite this, a team of compassionate local advocates and vets are working tirelessly to maintain a long-running project to help animals.  

Our Emergency Grants Program continues to fund their important work, which aims to reduce the number of homeless dogs through ongoing spay and neuter programs. Repressive military rule hasn’t stopped these dedicated animal lovers from creating a brighter future for the many animals in Myanmar who need them. 

Help – and hope – for animals everywhere

It takes courage to put others first in times of conflict. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Animals Australia’s grants program is helping these kindhearted people on the ground save animals during war. You can help them, too, by donating here.