UKRAINE CRISIS: Helping animals during the ongoing devastation of war.

Through our Emergency Grants Program, we are supporting the rebuild of Sirius Shelter — the largest animal shelter in Ukraine.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated February 9, 2023

The war in Ukraine continues to cause immense suffering and destruction across the country to animals and humans alike. It is estimated that around 700,000 companion animals have been separated from their families – orphaned, abandoned, lost during the fighting – since the war began.

But as always, there are kind-hearted people who are saving lives.

In response to this urgent need, Animals Australia is assisting Sirius Shelter through our Emergency Grants program. Situated in Fedorivka near the capital Kyiv, it is the largest animal shelter in the country, caring for over 3500 vulnerable animals.

Our Emergency Grants response is providing critical funds to rebuild lifesaving housing.  Stressed by the sights and sounds of conflict and relentless bombings close to the shelter, scared resident dogs have panicked and tried to escape, sometimes seriously injuring themselves and damaging or destroying shelters.

New enclosures are urgently being built and providing protection from bitterly cold winter snow and rain. Adequate shelters give comfort and warmth to countless dogs in desperate need.


This image contains content which some may find confronting

A puppy safe in the arms of a rescuer at Sirius Shelter Ukraine.
The dedicated team at Sirius continues to provide urgent help during the harsh winter months to the overwhelming number of animals arriving at the shelter since the war began.
Image credit: Sirius Shelter, Ukraine

The power of kind hearts

Alexandra Mezinova, a remarkable Ukrainian animal rights activist, founded Sirius Shelter back in 2000. Since then, they have successfully rescued and rehomed over 10 000 animals, and continue to provide support and care to the overwhelming number of animals in need coming to their door since the war began.

Fedorivka, the town where Sirius is located, was occupied for a period at the start of the war. Facing the horrifying prospect of animals starving to death, Alexandra bravely convinced Russian soldiers to let her source food from local farms, daily risking her life. Only due to the selflessness and unwavering commitment of Alexandra and her team, most animals survived.

Despite continuous, seemingly insurmountable challenges – no electricity, water shortages, internet outages, destruction of infrastructure – the gratitude the team at Sirius shelter shows to Animals Australia supporters from across the world has been overwhelming. “They (the dogs) will live in a dry, much warmer environment, water or snow doesn’t get into their new houses, they feel cleaner, warmer and therefore are in better spirit…It makes us very happy that due to the grant, better life will be given to these animals. We are very thankful for your involvement and support,” says Alexandra.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Alexandra Mezinova from Sirius shelter crouched down in the snow patting a rescued dog in Ukraine
Sirius Shelter Founder Alexandra Mezinova, comforting Zita, 16, who was found abandoned in a drain pipe as a puppy and has been cared for by the shelter ever since. Thanks to donors to our Emergency Grants program, Zita's new enclosure will give her much-needed protection during the harsh winter months.
We are happy to share great news with you. Sirius has new friends from Animals Australia. 12,819 km is not an obstacle, but on the contrary, an indicator that goodness has no limit.
Alexandra Mezinova, Founder, Sirius Shelter

Support of the Emergency Grants program will provide lifesaving shelter. It can mean the difference between life and death for a traumatized animal caught up in the war and give hope and care where it’s desperately needed.

It takes endless courage and compassion to put animals first in times of crisis. So for as long as the war devastates Ukraine, our work to assist those on the ground and help the most vulnerable will continue.

If you would like to support brave shelters like Sirius and sustain our ongoing efforts to help animals in times of disaster and crisis world-wide, please consider donating to our Emergency Grants program today.