Ukraine animal charities: 5 verified nonprofits to help refugees' pets

It’s also challenging getting food and supplies to shelters in distress. Larger organizations are coordinating support for local animal shelters, but it’s dangerous work. For instance, 26-year-old Anastasiia Yalanskaya and two other volunteers were shot and killed by Russian troops after delivering food to a shelter in Bucha, which is less than 20 miles outside of Kyiv. The shelter had been without supplies for three days.“I know at least a few animal helpers or shelter volunteers who got shot because they want to visit shelter animals and wanted to bring some food to them,” Landsmann said. “And they were just shot. … The war is not over and it’s getting worse every day.”

According to the United Nations refugee agency, more than 3 million Ukrainians are now refugees — a number that continues to climb.

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Here are some organizations working to help displaced pets and shelter animals.

UAnimals

Ukrainian nonprofit UAnimals works to get food to local shelters and zoos. Landsmann supports the efforts of this Ukrainian organization so much that she commended their work to Mike Arms, CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, California. Now the nonprofit is pledging to donate $50,000 to animal welfare organizations like UAnimals — and is calling for animal lovers to match the pledge.

“Like the people, they’re innocent. Those bombs — you know how sensitive dogs' ears and cats' ears are and what they must be going through."

Mike Arms, CEO of the Helen Woodward Animal CenterSo far, over $48,000 has been matched in the special fund — and Arms hopes to raise even more money for animals in Ukraine. He's concerned by the urgent need for blankets, beds and other supplies for displaced pets, as well as the well-being of pets who remain in Ukraine.

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“Like the people, they’re innocent. Those bombs — you know how sensitive dogs' ears and cats' ears are and what they must be going through,” he told TODAY. “We want people to open their hearts and their wallets to help others that really need it right now.”