On June 1st 2023, the Nova Kakhovka dam in the middle of the Ukraine war zone was blown up, causing extensive flooding. Agricultural land and dozens of villages and towns were quickly flooded with thousands of people from both sides of the river forced to evacuate from their homes. This also means that their companion animals were affected, as well as all the animal shelters in the flooding area.  

Animal protection organisations in Ukraine and abroad are stepping up their efforts to help the dogs and cats affected by this flooding. Helen Woodward Animal Center, a Californian nonprofit organization that provides educational and therapeutic programs for people, as well as humane care and adoption for homeless animals, is pledging $35,000 to support flood relief efforts and is asking the community to match the amount. 

This centre has been facilitating the transfer of donations to both Ukrainian refugee companion animal guardians, as well as shelters-in-need within Ukraine through both Tallinn City Government Chief Specialist Hellika Landsmann from the Estonia Animal Welfare Society and General Secretary TOZ Danuta Mikusz-Oslislo from the Polish Society for The Protection of Animals. They have been working closely with UAnimals, a non-profit Ukrainian animal rights organization, which has managed to provide food, medical supplies, blankets, kennels, and other crucial needs, in addition to a lifesaving transfer van that has transported orphan companion animals out of war-torn areas.

Renee Resko, Helen Woodward Animal Center VP of Development, said,Despite the ongoing war, good-news emails and photos of rescues being done, sent from our friends in Ukraine over the past year, have been encouraging…Unfortunately, last week, we received desperate news about the flooding. Homes and shelters are underwater and flooded roads are making rescue trips extremely difficult if not impossible. The photos of orphan animals clinging to the sides of buildings are devastating. We knew we had to do something.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.