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On April 24th 2022 I went to Ukraine with a van full of medical, food and animal supplies in order to help with the crisis resulting from Russian's invasion. 
Myself and a small team of British, American, Australian & Ukrainian volunteers all worked on the frontline evacuating people and animals and bringing in medical and food supply to villages.
The full story is written below.

The BBC's Orla Guerin joined us in the Donbas for a day of human evacuations.
Check out her report below:

Work in Eastern Ukraine:

On the 24th April I left the UK with my van filled with aid to go to Ukraine. So many people donated supplies and funding and I am so grateful to everyone that was able to help. In the van we had 200kg of human dry food, a tonne of dog and cat food, tick and flea treatments, leads, harnesses and collars to go to shelters and essential first aid medical equipment donated from The Medics Lodge in Ashford.  And I picked up 1/2 tonne of medical supplies in Poland as well which was also donated.

On the 28th April I arrived in Ukraine after a 10 hour border crossing and met up with a team in Lviv the next day. We organised the vans and first stop was Kyiv. We stayed in Kyiv overnight and then proceeded to Kharkiv (North east Ukraine). Once we arrived in Kharkiv we offloaded our supplies, all human food got delivered to a warehouse that put together food parcels for those too afraid to leave their homes and the dog and cat food was taken to the local shelters in Kharkiv.

That night we stayed in Kharkiv city which at the time was under heavy artillery. One of the Ukrainians we dropped supplies to offered us his apartment for the night. We gratefully accepted and drove over there. It turned out to be on the North East side of the city, 15km from the Russian border and only 6km from the contact line (line of fighting). We were in clear artillery range. We were told we could not turn on any lights as we had to be in black out. From 8:30pm the missile strikes and artillery started. We could see them track across the sky and hit their targets. This was the moment it truly hits you that you are in the thick of a conflict zone.

On the first trip into the Donbas we got asked to evacuate some people from a monastery in Svetogorsk. To get there you have to go through many military check points, the last check pint before we entered the town the guards said we have to wear our body armour, we could not get through before we put on our grade 4 bullet proof vests. We get out of our vehicles to get this and the sound of artillery was almost deafening. Once we got through the check point we came up over the brow of a hill and and the valley below was just smoke, we drove fast at this point as we were in view of the Russian occupied territory. Once we got into the monastery, we gathered everyone that wanted to leave into our vans, some people however wanted to stay and refused to go. We did not understand why until the next day. The monastery we were at was Russian orthodox, some people were waiting for the Russian soldiers to roll through because they wanted to be part of Russia. We also found out the next day that the monks at this monastery were pro-russian and had ties to the FSB... information that we should have known prior.

We spent the next few weeks living and evacuating people and animals from the Donbas. Many of the places we have evacuated people from are now sadly under Russian occupation or under constant shelling and are now to dangerous to go too. Due to issues with fuel in the country we never waste a trip, whenever we evacuate people to Dnipro, we stock up with more supplies and head back into the Donbas to make sure they have supply of food and medical as this is struggling to get to where it is most needed.

I kept some of the bags of dog and cat food encase we needed them and supplied a shelter in Bakhmut with this to feed the 140 dogs they had there. I desperately wanted to take these dogs out as the shelling was very close and the dogs were clearly terrified, however without a location to take them too, they would probably have ended up back on the streets. The best I could do was to provide them with food and tick and flea treatment to help. The dogs were so lovely and loved a cuddle. 

There is great difficulty with moving animals as shelter conditions were terrible, many dogs were chained and could not run when there were loud explosions which meant it caused them more fear. Live for the dogs on the street seemed like the better of two bad options. Because of this I decided to do all I could for street animals rather than trying to move them. I would take many to the vet that needed any medical care and also always keep for in my van in order to feed these animals.

I also met an incredibly brave family in Bakhmut who decided to stay when everyone else had fled. They looked after everyones animals as sometimes evacuating with animals can be really hard. The family would feed and care for all of those left behind and also any street dog that needed help. I got many bags of dog and cat food to help her continue to feed these animals and many supplies to help her and her family during this difficult time. 

After almost 4 months on the frontline in the Donbas, I returned home to my very excited pup Arlo and realised I'd made the right choice to leave, he had missed me very much.

Forever grateful to the amazing Ukrainian and foreign teams I worked with including Refugease and Vostok SOS.

Canine Rescue
Rescue dogs
Ukraine rescue
Online dog training
Ukraine war
Humanitarian Work
Canine Training
Rescue Dog Training
Street Dog Rescue
Ex street dog trainer
Street dog trainer
Canine Training
Rehoming street dogs
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