An animal charity has reported that the dogs died after weeks without food or water.
Trigger Warning: This article contains details of animal abuse that may be triggering to readers.
Hundreds of dogs have reportedly died at a Ukraine animal shelter after weeks of not having access to food or water, an animal charity has reported. According to the Ukraine-based animal rights organization UAnimals, when the war began, 485 dogs were abandoned and left in locked cages at an animal shelter in Borodyanka, Ukraine. Russian forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 and the dogs were alone for over a month. Volunteers were able to gain access to the shelter only on April 1 after Russian troops left the area. The animals had gone weeks without food or water. Only around 150 dogs out of the 485 had survived. Some of the ones that did survive were in critical condition and had to be taken to local veterinarians. Some even died on the way to treatment.
"A few days ago, we were shocked by the terrible news—more than 300 dogs were killed in Borodyanka Animal Shelter… The animals were not killed by bombings…they died a terrible death without food and water, locked in their cells," UAnimals said in a statement. The organization called on police to charge the owner of the shelter with animal abuse, according to PEOPLE. "We have to hold everyone accountable who silenced and contributed to the tragedy." Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of the Center for Civil Liberties shared a disturbing video on Twitter showing groups of dead dogs in a passageway at the shelter.
After the Russian occupation rendered an animal shelter near Borodyanka, Ukraine, inaccessible to volunteers, disturbing footage has emerged showing mounds of dead dogs who perished, locked in their cages, without access to food or water for weeks. https://t.co/o0cNUvE270— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 4, 2022
The Romanian Red Cross has decided to step in and for the first time has included aid for pets in its transports. "In times like these, we know that not only people but also animals need help. We are happy and honored to have Humane Society International on our side, making sure that much-needed pet food will also reach Ukraine with our convoys. The first ton of dry pet food has reached our loading point in Sibiu, and it will be delivered to Ukraine within the next days," Raluca Morar, the executive director of the Romanian Red Cross in Sibiu, said in a statement.
This week, #humanitarian aid from the Romanian and Italian Red Cross and Turkish Red Crescent Societies arrived in #Ukraine: food, blankets, medicines & first aid kits, tents, bedding, and hygiene kits.— Ukrainian Red Cross (@RedCrossUkraine) March 6, 2022
We are grateful for your support to the Ukrainian people. #SupportUkraine pic.twitter.com/yQ2T9JSC58
"We are grateful that the Romanian Red Cross has recognized that the plight of animals in war is inextricably bound up with the plight of the people who live with them and care so deeply about their welfare," Humane Society International/Europe's Romania director, Andreea Roseti, added. "We have donated one ton of emergency pet supplies, the first of many to come, that the Red Cross will distribute within Ukraine to help avert a worsening animal welfare crisis. There are large numbers of pet dogs and cats roaming the streets who have become separated from their families; they are bewildered, traumatized, and in need of help. The tragedy of war doesn't differentiate between two legs or four, and together with the Red Cross, we will get aid to those people in Ukraine desperately asking for help to keep their animal friends alive in this crisis."