The invasion of Ukraine isn’t a catastrophe just for humans—the life of every animal in the country is at risk. Learn how PETA Germany and its partners are saving lives in the war zone.
For an archive of updates about daring rescues, heartwarming adoptions, and the teams’ brave, lifesaving missions, please click here!
“There’s no time to lose when animals need us” is the unofficial motto of PETA Germany’s Ukraine rescue team, whose brave members comb through the bombed-out shells of once-bustling cities, risking their lives to help all animals in need.
PETA Germany and its partners’ determination and grit have helped thousands of animals in Ukraine survive famine, injuries, and other traumatic experiences. PETA Germany’s volunteers put their own safety on the line every day as they deliver food and veterinary care and transport animals out of the war zone. Read on for stories of just a few of the thousands of animals who have been helped by this invaluable work.
PETA Germany’s rescue team risked their lives to drive to Lviv just days after the invasion of Ukraine began, a dangerous journey into a battle-torn country made even more hazardous by heavy snowfall and icy conditions. They met with brave volunteers who had traveled more than 300 miles within Ukraine from a shelter in Kyiv with nearly 90 homeless cats and dogs. Then PETA Germany drove the animals to Poland, a safe haven where they could be placed for a chance at adoption. Since this first rescue mission, PETA Germany has helped save the lives of more than 2,000 animals.
After hearing about the plight of Evgenia—along with her 3-year-old twins and their cat and dog companions—who thought escape from Bucha with her whole family was impossible, PETA Germany prepared to help them.
After Russian soldiers had left Kyiv and the streets had been cleared of mines and the dead bodies of civilians, the rescue team made the harrowing journey through the war-scarred country to reach Evgenia and her family. The perilous trip was long and frightening, but after almost 30 hours on the road, Evgenia, the twins, and the animals arrived safely in Germany.
When PETA Germany and its partner Animal Rescue Kharkiv (ARK) met Atya the dog, she was suffering on the street, cowering in fear in a puddle of her own blood. Her shoulder had been blown to bits by a barrage of bullets.
The team helped rush her to a clinic, where a veterinarian was able to remove the shrapnel from her wounds and save her shoulder. Although she has healed physically, she needs emotional support to help overcome the strain of her ordeal. Today she’s at a partner center in Budapest that helps animals recover from trauma. Thanks to PETA Germany and its partners, Atya is able to live in a pack of dogs who have helped her regain her confidence.
In Hungary, the team saw Lilly. She was sitting with two border guards who were sharing their bread with her. The soldiers told the team that Lilly was traveling alone—with no one to care for her. Her tail wagged, and she ran toward the team, allowing them to take her into their arms. After a friendly meet and greet, she jumped into the rescue van, where a warm place was waiting for her.
Since Lilly was on the Hungarian side of the border, she’ll have only a three-week quarantine at a partner shelter after being vaccinated for rabies. Then the team will move her to Germany, where they’re confident the sweet dog will find a loving family.