War in Ukraine: These images show how thousands of pets are suffering

Desperate Ukrainians snuggle with family pets in shelters, creating heartbreaking sights.

As the violent battle continues on the streets of Kyiv after Russian special forces invaded the city, pets are struggling as much as humans. People in Kyiv have been fleeing the streets to avoid explosions as Russian special forces pound Ukraine.

Human horror

As locals flood into subways to hide from the attack, hoping to dodge the violent combat. One Twitter user described the sights underneath by posting a photo of a dog with a hefty chain around its neck fleeing danger with panicked residents.

In response a user tweeted:

The moment I saw this broke my heart. Why, why do we have to go to war with each other? Why can't the whole world live with love and happiness together? So sad.

Another user added:

The pets are having the worst time of their lives. Loud noises and everything is different.

Pets are not used to such loud noises and it often causes trouble for them. They are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure and it can cause them to react fearfully to loud noises or explosions before people even hear it. As such, this becomes an extremely challenging time for pets.

A pet’s nightmare

Last night, the city was rocked by explosions when missiles were launched into Kyiv on the second day of the Russian assault. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing the nation, and many of them are refusing to leave without their pets. Photos of humans and their animals attempting perilous border crossings or huddling in bomb shelters and subway stations have popped up all over social media. Reportedly, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia are enabling Ukrainians to bring their pets across borders without veterinary papers.

However, many animals in Ukraine still require food, medicine, and care. In the face of missile strikes, brave volunteers and shelter staff are remaining behind to care for the homeless animals. In this time of crisis, there are methods to assist Ukrainian pets and their families, as well as shelter animals with nowhere else to go. Here are a few groups that need your help to help Ukraine's animals:


UAnimals is collecting funds to help animal shelters that have run out of food and supplies as a result of the Russian invasion.

Happy paw!

This organisation helps animals in shelters in Ukraine and advocates for the humane treatment of stray animals.

Shelter Ugolyok

This Ukrainian animal rescue and farm sanctuary is putting together a wartime food stockpile for its hundreds of animals, but they're having trouble transporting supplies because they're near to the bombardment.

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