Meet Unsung Heroes In Ukraine Risking Their Lives To Care For Abandoned And Injured Animals

The war continues in Ukraine and so do the acts of brave individuals who are navigating the dangerous streets to bring aid to people and pets in need.

For the past two years, selfless people have stepped up to care for homeless, abandoned, and injured animals who found themselves caught in the crosshairs of war.

Photo: United for Animals

Meet just a handful of the unsung heroes in Ukraine who are risking their lives to save animals and give them the life they deserve. While they may not be pictured in photos, their work is changing the lives of countless animals, and they deserve to be recognized and praised.

GreaterGood and The Animal Rescue Site are supporting these courageous individuals by funding the evacuation of abandoned pets and their ongoing care as well as with donated pet food and supplies, thanks to your generous donations and our partnerships with Greater Good Charities and United for Animals (UFA).


Photo: United for Animals

“In the small frontline town of Druzhkivka, a beacon of light shines — her name is Julia. Every day, regardless of freezing temperatures, rain, or heat, she ventures out to bring warmth and food to abandoned animals. Julia is not just a volunteer; she is a tireless advocate for the homeless. But that’s not all. In her heart, she has established her own shelter, providing safety and care for those she has rescued. Her shelter is not just a place for animals; it’s a true home where each one finds love and nurturing,” UFA shared with us.

Photo: United for Animals

But that’s not all. Julia also organizes sterilization projects to help control the pet population in the city and helps recruit more volunteers. Our nonprofit partner said it perfectly, “Julia is a living example of how a person with a big heart can make a significant difference in the world of animals. Her passion and dedication flourish like flowers against a backdrop of challenging conditions. She not only changes the destinies of animals but also inspires others to do the same. Julia is our bright ray of hope and nobility in the world of volunteering.”


This young woman is the definition of brave and a true inspiration to all. UFA recalls her story, “Devoted to her mission, Yana never left her wards, even in the most difficult times. During the occupation of Kherson, she stayed with the animals, demonstrating incredible courage and dedication. In conditions when others would have preferred to avoid danger, Yana continued to take care of hundreds of four-legged animals in the shelter: 600 animals, each with their own story and needs. Her stories of survival during the occupation sound so horrifying that many people would not be able to survive them, let alone tell them. But Yana, despite everything, continued to rescue and feed animals. She is not just a shelter coordinator; she is a symbol of hope and heroism for those who find their second home in the 4 Paws shelter.”

Photo: United for Animals

They are proud to call her one of their coordinators who helps animals and inspires others to join her cause.

UFA goes on to say, “Even now, in times of constant shelling, she does not leave her wards and helps other volunteers to receive the necessary assistance from our foundation. To support this center of hope, we recently provided a ton of coal to the shelter, providing warmth for the cats and old dogs who live there. For them, this shelter is not just a place to stay, but a real home, where they receive love, care, and feel needed.”


Photo: United for Animals

This man travels the dangerous streets of Chasiv Yar, which are being shelled daily, to ensure that people and their pets have food and supplies. He also stops along the road to feed the homeless animals. During a recent delivery, his vehicle (clearly marked with blue humanitarian mission signs) was hit by a Russian drone and destroyed some of the supplies and blew out all the windows.

Eugene managed to escape with a mild concussion but hasn’t let this terrifying experience stop him from helping animals. UFA told us about their coordinator, “He continues to organize evacuations, distribute food, and assist those affected by this ruthless war. His foresight and bravery have become a source of comfort for those who believe in a brighter, more peaceful future.”

Oksana Litvinova

Oksana Litvinova and several volunteers care for hundreds of dogs and several cats at their shelter called The Happy Dog Shelter in the city of Kropyvnytskyi.

Photo: United for Animals

Currently, there are 275 dogs and nearly 30 cats that are being showered with love and care while they wait for forever homes. Since the war began, Oksana has taken in countless dogs and even transported many abroad to ensure they were safe and found loving homes.

UFA shares, “Oksana took many animals abroad during the war, mostly to France. She personally covered many kilometers every time to make sure that the animals she saved would arrive safely and get into really good families. During one trip, Oksana transported as many as 30 animals with volunteers! Oksana and her son took 120 animals from her shelter to France and Germany during the conflict. They have never denied aid to the victims of this conflict.”

Photo: United for Animals

She is also heavily involved in sterilization programs and helps other animal caregivers in the area. Your generous donations covered a recent delivery of much-needed nutritious pet food and outdoor dog kennels with straw to insulate them to her shelter. They send their thanks and so do we for continuing to help those in need.

Photo: United for Animals

Help these heroes continue to save lives by donating pet food to feed all the hungry homeless animals.

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