A Ukrainian and A Russian Coming Together to Save Homeless Animals

Please listen here to my guest Anna Khazanova on this week’s DOG TALK® because her story is incredible and uplifting. As a 9-year-old child Anna immigrated to New York City from Ukraine. As a young woman she became best friends with another young immigrant — who herself had moved to Brooklyn from Russia when she was only a teen. In 2014 they met when both were trying to rescue homeless dogs and stray cats in Brighton Beach. Together they formed their own non-profit called Angels for Mistreated Animals, forming a network of foster families so they could save and re-home countless pets, with the dream of one day having their own shelter. They raised the money and put in the work to create a physical shelter in Brooklyn for Angels for Mistreated Animals. [You can see them with their volunteers above.]

When Russia attacked Ukraine — where Anna still had friends and family — the partners in rescue immediately mobilized when they heard that an animal shelter had been bombed and burned. They set up a GoFundMe page and began to raise money to send directly into the hands of the shelters they personally know in Ukraine, that are working to protect their animals.

There are many terrific organizations sending money for pet-related needs in Ukraine right now — all fine non-profits. Just a few days ago  the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (the charitable arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association) reported more than $300,000 in new donations from foundations, corporations and over $135,000 from 800 individuals to help support veterinary and animal-welfare groups in war-torn Ukraine. Donations included $100,000 from the Doris Day Animal Foundation and $50,000 each from Ethos Veterinary Health and People, Pets & Vets.  The new donations follow the March 10 announcement by the AVMF that it would direct a $100,000 donation from  Merck Animal Health to Ukrainian relief efforts, and would match Merck’s grant with a donation of $100,000. The AVMA is encouraging its 99,500 members and the public to contribute to the relief efforts by donating to the AVMF.

Please also consider supporting the grassroots efforts of this Ukrainian/Russian pair of young women who are a living example of human solidarity in the face of terrifying brutality.

–Tracie Hotchner

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