homeless dog waiting something in a slag

Ukraine emergency response: How you can support the rescue and care of animals on the ground.

As conflict continues across Ukraine, our Emergency Grants Program is assisting the courageous individuals on the ground saving lives.

Animals Australia

Animals Australia team

Last updated March 1, 2022

This image contains content which some may find confronting

A pride of lions are rescued from a zoo in Odesa by the brave team at Warriors of Wildlife.
Image credit: Nathan Laine- Magnus News

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has sparked intense conflict not seen in Europe since the second world war. Millions of residents have been forced to flee into bordering countries, with very little time to prepare and putting many animals at risk of abandonment. 

The number of people who have sadly had to flee Ukraine has risen above 7 million, and the impact has been catastrophic for animals left behind. But amidst the panic and chaos of conflict, there are caregivers working on the ground to protect those who cannot escape or protect themselves.

These individuals and organisations are living proof of the very best of humanity – and their compassion is saving many lives. Our Emergency Grants exist to support them in their courageous and selfless work.

Support our emergency grants here

A wolf, lions, and countless companion animals our Emergency Grants Program is saving lives

Made possible by those who have donated to our emergency grants, our Animals International team was deployed to the border of Ukraine and Romania.

As well as providing life-saving assistance to companion animals – those fleeing with families, and those who are stranded in Ukraine – our EU team also helped rescue animals stranded in a private zoo.

Through collaboration with local animal protection advocates, Simba the lion and Akyla the wolf were successfully evacuated from the confines of a zoo. After a gruelling four-day journey, they were finally brought to safety in Romania. Our work continues to ensure these animals, who have endured confinement, unnatural living conditions, and more recently the dangers of war, can spend the rest of their days in a sanctuary.

In extreme times we have to have extreme measures and we decided to do whatever possible to bring those animals out of war.
Sebastian Taralunga, Animals International team on the ground

With emergency tents set up at the Ukraine/Romania border crossing, our team has assisted many Ukrainians fleeing with their beloved animal companions – providing warm blankets, secure carriers, food parcels, and helping with animal passport applications and paperwork to help families stay together. 

This image contains content which some may find confronting

The Animals International team and a companion dog at the emergency tent surrounded by supplies.
Our international team was deployed at the Romania/Ukraine border, assisting Ukranians fleeing with companion animals, and delivering much needed supplies to local animal protection organisation Casa Lui Patrocle.

Our emergency grants program is also funding much needed food supply convoys through Ukraine to support animal shelters in some of the most volatile ‘red zones, and is assisting teams evacuating animals stranded in houses and apartments and on the streets to safety – this an urgent and growing need as over four million people have tragically been forced to leave their homes.

Generous donors have also made it possible to support the rescue of a pride of lions trapped in a zoo in the warzone in Odesa, Ukraine.

The 72-hour mission was led by South African wildlife sanctuary owner, Lionel de Lange, whose dream is for the lions to live “the rest of their lives being lions”, free from cruel confinement for the entertainment of humans. Mr de Lange was grateful that Animals Australia supporters helped fund vehicles and other rescue costs to get the lions to safety. You can read more about the rescue here.

This image contains content which some may find confronting

Image credit: Nathan Lainé – Magnus News

Thank you for caring your support is helping the animal victims of war, disasters, and emergencies

For as long as this war continues to devastate Ukraine, our work to assist those on the ground will continue. On behalf of animals in Ukraine, and across the globe, thank you for ensuring they are not forgotten during times of crisis. 

Your support means the world to them, and those dedicated to protecting them.

Support our emergency grants