The Will to Be! Hamlet’s Story May Have You Crying Tears of Joy

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3 min read

The blast of an air-raid siren in Hamlet’s village left the dog trembling in fear. Moments later, a missile roared through the air, turning Hamlet and his guardian’s home to rubble. Their lives were all they had left—and the badly injured Hamlet was in danger of shuffling off this mortal coil.

Hamlet in the rubble of his Ukraine home

Hamlet Suffered the Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune

His legs, including one of his elbow joints, had been struck by flying shrapnel. Without any way of securing the help he needed, Hamlet’s guardian could do nothing but watch as her beloved companion’s wounds began to fester and his health deteriorated.

Then, Ukrainian troops arrived to secure the village, and being kind souls, they alerted PETA’s Global Compassion Fund (GCF)–supported team Animal Rescue Kharkiv (ARK) that Hamlet needed their help. Hamlet’s guardian tearfully hugged her best friend goodbye, handing over the weakened dog to ARK with a plea to save his life and, knowing she would probably never see him again because of the war, find him a loving home.

Hamlet in the rubble of his Ukraine home

ARK rushed the frail dog to PETA’s GCF-supported veterinary clinic in Kharkiv for emergency surgery. The deeply embedded shrapnel was removed, and his infected wounds were cleaned. The surgery was a success, and brave Hamlet, having regained the native hue of resolution, was soon wagging his tail around the clinic, happy to cuddle with the staff and grateful to be walking once again!

The ARK team and other PETA GCF-supported teams rescue and care for severely injured and traumatized animals like Hamlet every single day. They know they are shell-shocked and need gentle care. They help them recover and find new loving homes, or they search for their original guardians who were separated from their animal companions during the turmoil of war. Many go into foster care or to specially established shelters funded by PETA’s GCF, but so far, ARK has reunited 60% of all rescued and recovered animals with their original families. Each life saved and every tail wag or soft purr is reason enough for these courageous teams, who risk their own safety, to keep going, day after day, no matter how many slings and arrows, missiles and mortars, or other unnatural shocks come their way.

How You Can Help Animals Like Hamlet

Since the beginning of the war, PETA Germany and its partners in Ukraine have rescued more than 11,000 animals from areas in crisis. Teams provide medical care, vaccinations, passports, sterilizations, safe shelter, and a chance at a better life. Your support of PETA’s GCF ensures that teams will be there for animals for as long as they’re needed.

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