Watch: A Soldier’s Plea to Stop Violence

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Update (June 27, 2023): A combat medic on the front lines in Ukraine knows the horrors of war—and how seeing them can make anyone want to take action to stop violence.

That’s why he took a few moments to record this brief but powerful message about an easy way we can all help:

Soldiers like him often work with rescue teams supported by PETA’s Global Compassion Fund as they risk everything to help animals.

Help Stop the Violence—Go Vegan

You can prevent the suffering of nearly 200 animals each year when you choose compassion over violence by going vegan.

More Updates from the Rescue Team

June 20: Out of the Flood, Into the Fire

Update (June 20, 2023): Teams have rescued nearly 300 traumatized dogs, cats, chickens, and other animals from the deadly flooding in Ukraine. Here are many grateful animals after arriving at the Global Compassion Fund–supported clinic in Kharkiv:

While the team members are reuniting flood victims with their guardians and finding loving homes for those who need one, they’re also busy restocking supplies for another trip back to Kherson later this week. The military has requested their help to rescue the animals who are trapped on the front lines as fighting in the region intensifies.

These dogs may have been spared by the floodwaters, but they are all deeply affected by the sounds of the conflict nearby. Watch how Animal Rescue Kharkiv helps them escape:

June 15: Finding Survivors in the Flood

Update (June 15, 2023): More than 200 dogs, cats, chickens, and goats (and even a turtle) have now been pulled from the floodwaters and are receiving the care they need, thanks to the strong network of rescuers, volunteers, veterinarians, and shelters supported by the many recent donors to PETA’s Global Compassion Fund.

The team from Animal Rescue Kharkiv is still busy navigating the debris-strewn water, scaling destroyed houses, and swimming through the muck to reach as many animals as they can.

Watch as senior dog Kai calls out for help from a rooftop when he senses the approaching rescue boat:

Water levels are slowly receding, and what lies beneath the murky surface is now creating new challenges for rescue crews in boats—who  must also contend with water-logged structures that may collapse.

Teams on solid ground are also working to reunite guardians with their animal companions who went through the unimaginable: becoming separated without a moment’s notice and not knowing whether one another had survived. These two were grateful to be with each other once again:

June 13: Meet Afina and Other Flood Survivors

Update (June 13, 2023): From dogs and cats to chickens and goats, teams supported by PETA’s Global Compassion Fund are rescuing around 50 animals every day from debris-filled floodwaters in Ukraine.

ARK rescuer and dog in boat during rain

Heavy Rain and Military Shutdowns

Afina was found hungry, frightened, and alone on a floating metal roof. Watch what happens after “Capt. Afina” alerts her crew to other animals who need their help:

Rescuers put on ponchos when the heavy rain started beating down. Visibility was sometimes limited, but knowing animals were still out there—having gone several days without food and clean water—the team carried on to reach them.

Strong currents likely displaced this turtle downstream. The team spotted her when she was able to clamber atop a roof, and they scooped her up and took her to safety.

turtle who was rescued on a roof

When the military sealed off the area, teams backed by PETA’s Global Compassion Fund raced their boats to another location and kept rescuing dogs, cats, and other animals. They were later the only group given permission to continue working.

June 9: Watch as Rescuers Save Animals

Update (June 9, 2023): Over 100 dogs, cats, chickens, and other animals have been saved from dangerous flooding in southern Ukraine so far. Watch as a team supported by PETA’s Global Compassion Fund whisks traumatized animal survivors onto their boats and away to safety:

Each moment counts for exhausted animals trapped on rooftop “islands” or desperately trying to escape the murky floodwaters.

June 8: Finding Survivors in the Flood

Update (June 8, 2023): Teams supported by PETA’s Global Compassion Fund are carefully navigating the floodwaters in Ukraine to find cats, dogs, chickens, and other animal survivors and rush them to dry land, where they’re provided with food and water. Volunteers are transporting them to a nearby veterinary clinic and animal shelters.

Everywhere the rescuers steer their boats, they find animals at risk of drowning. Here are a few of the dozens of lives they have saved so far:

This dog was desperately treading water to survive after someone left him tethered to a roof. Rescuers got to him in the nick of time. He was so exhausted that after the team rushed him to dry land, he couldn’t even stand on his own.

two dogs in flooding waters ukraine

Rescuers eased this terrified dog onto a boat:

This overwhelmed dog clasped his rescuer’s leg for dear life until he was pulled from the water.

ARK rescuing dog in flooding in Ukraine

Countless other panicked animals are stranded on rooftops or desperately trying to survive in the bacteria-laden water as rescuers risk their lives navigating around military explosive devices and broken power lines to save them.

June 7: Animals Face Drowning in Ukrainian Flood Zone

Teams supported by PETA’s Global Compassion Fund (GCF) are navigating the murky waters of flooded streets to save frightened animals clinging to rooftops or struggling to reach a patch of dry ground after the destruction of a major dam in southern Ukraine.

cat on roof in flood in ukraine

Animal Rescue Kharkiv set out for the devastated region with food, medical supplies, and boats soon after news broke of the flooding, and the group was shortly joined by another GCF-supported rescue team out of Mykolaiv.

ARK rescuer with dog by flood waters

“This catastrophe transcends any dramatic situation we have experienced side by side with our local partners since the outbreak of war.”

—Sylvie Bunz, Special Projects Senior Manager, PETA Germany

ARK rescue team member in front of boat

The floodwaters are challenging, and broken power lines and military devices are making the situation even more dangerous. Rescuers are risking their lives to reach as many stranded and traumatized survivors as possible. Teams are whisking the animals they save to a nearby clinic for any necessary veterinary care, while others are being transported to local shelters in the hope of reuniting them with their guardians.

dogs on roof flooding ukraine

The GCF’s Impact on Animals Since the Beginning of the War in Ukraine

  • Teams have rescued more than 11,000 animals so far.
  • PETA Germany has collected and delivered more than 3 million pounds of food (1.4 million kilograms) for animals in the country.
  • After support from the Global Compassion Fund helped rebuild Animal Rescue Kharkiv’s (ARK) bombed clinic, 2,964 severely injured animals (and counting) received veterinary care.
  • ARK teams save 100 animals each week. Global Compassion Fund support helps with transportation, medical supplies, and much more.
  • ARK is caring for 1,000 cats and dogs in Kharkiv—rescuing and finding new homes for animals as well as reuniting them with their families.

How You Can Help

Your gift to PETA’s GCF today will support these daring rescue teams in Ukraine and provide hope to animals in desperate need.


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