Help for pets caught up in Ukraine dam explosion


01 August 2023
Thanks to a charitable organisation, more than 1,500 dogs and cats were rescued in one week following the Kakhovka Dam explosion and flooding in Ukraine’s Kherson region.

U-Hearts’ Save Pets of Ukraine initiative supported 13 volunteer groups and non governmental organisations by donating pet food, transportation cages, medications, and metal saws for cutting chains and locks.

Cross-breed Druxhok and Newfoundland Buddy are just two of the lucky dogs plucked to safety. Although Druxhok’s owner, Lyubov, was able to save her cat, she couldn’t reach her beloved dog.

“I was in my robe and slippers, that’s all,” explained the heartbroken 73-year-old, who lives alone. “Now the water in my house is almost reaching the ceiling. But I don’t care about the furniture or my belongings; I’m only worried that I couldn’t save Druxhok.

“Animals gave me movement and energy. It was for them that I woke in the morning, and spent more time outdoors, and I took shelter with them during the shelling.” By sheer chance, Lyubov saw a news clip of a volunteer rescuing Druxhok, and U-Hearts was able to trace him to the Babenets Animal Shelter in Kyiv. As soon as Lyubov is able to restore her home, the pair will be reunited.

Meanwhile, spooked by the explosion, Buddy escaped through a gap in the fence and ran off. Despite his distraught owners searching tirelessly, there was no sign of him.

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Thankfully, the stressed Newfoundland was found and taken to the shelter by volunteers, and it’s hoped he’ll be able to return to his home soon.

Three veterinary clinics in Ukraine have won special prizes as part of the prestigious 2023 International Canine Health Awards. The clinics, in Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Zaporizhzhia will each receive $20,000 plus a further £10,000 donation from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust’s Ukraine Appeal, in recognition of the life-saving work their vets undertake every day, despite constant shelling, erratic or no electricity and water, and limited medical supplies.