Animal welfare centre resilience in Ukraine, regardless of the war
The centre became a model project thanks to which the number of street dogs in the city was reduced from around 80,000 to 3,000 between 2005 and 2019. Before the war it also served as a shelter for animals, but the new reality forced everyone to adapt.
As a response to the war, Deutscher Tierschutzbund successfully evacuated animals from the centre: 42 dogs and 7 cats, which were cared for at the centre, were brought to Germany via Romania. The animals were quarantined in Romanian animal shelter Smeura of the Tierhilfe Hoffnung in accordance with local authorities.The evacuation was challenging not only because of the dire logistical risks of going into the war zone and finding a transporter, but also because of the general lack of consideration of animals in evacuation procedures. The evacuation took two rounds with a transporter going to Odesa twice.
When the animal welfare centre in Odesa was opened, we never thought that we would have to evacuate animals due to a war one day. It was only thanks to the help of our partners and animal welfare organisations - especially the Tierhilfe Hoffnung - that we were able to bring the animals safely to Germany.Thomas Schröder - President, Deutscher Tierschutzbund
Most of these animals are accustomed to contact with humans and will be further rehomed in Germany. However, some of the animals from Odesa are not familiar with living together with people, which is why different solutions will be found for them.
Unfortunately, the proximity of the centre to the Odesa airport, which has been bombed already several times, complicates treatments. In case of Russian attacks, there is a risk that the centre could become inaccessible for staff. Luckily, the centre can fall back on a network of private animal protectionists with whom they collaborate to ensure that the animals receive the necessary care after medical treatments. Deutscher Tierschutzbund continues sending pet food to the centre to support its activity.If you want to support Deutscher Tierschutzbund’s important work in Ukraine, you can donate here.