WAN Exclusive With ‘Paws Of War’ Which Is Helping Ukrainian Refugees, Pets, Strays & Farm Animals On The Borders & Inside Ukraine

Photos from Paws of War

The hands-on veteran and animal rescue organization Paws of War is helping refugees in Ukraine and their pets find safety and refuge after escaping the war-torn country. WAN spoke in-depth with co-founder Robert Misseri about the many ways the remarkable nonprofit is making a substantial difference, not only for families and their pets, but for strays and farm animals as well.

Paws of War was established in 2014 with the intent of assisting veterans and first responders with numerous animal-related issues, including rescuing, training, and placing service and support dogs with those in need.

While that continues to remain the main focus of the organization, Paws of War has since evolved into a multi-purpose-driven organization with a host of services and special programs, such as its War Torn Pups and Cats initiative which reunites U.S. military personnel with the rescued animals they found and bonded with while serving in other countries.

“The overseas horrors bestowed upon animals is atrocious,” shared Paws of War. “Leaving them behind is heartbreaking and devastating for our military members.”

Paws of War started helping the people and animals of Ukraine before the war even began. The organization had recently fulfilled a request by an army unit from Florida that was based in Ukraine. As per Misseri, Paws of War and some of its local volunteers arranged for an adorable cat named Yogurt, that the military unit bonded with, to be safely relocated to a forever home in the United States.

Once Russia invaded Ukraine, Paws of War joined forces with overseas partners Alamal, to assemble resources to help more animals in the war-torn country escape. Since there was no way to access supplies locally, volunteers from Paws of War started purchasing essential items from other countries. The team of volunteers rented vans and set up aid centers on the Ukrainian borders of Poland and Romania where they could provide an assortment of necessitates for the animals, including: vaccines, medications, food, water, leashes, crates, and more.

“We recently began physically working inside of the country as well,” Misseri told WAN.

Misseri explained that once on Ukrainian soil, “it was way worse than expected.” Not only did they find frightened and traumatized stray and abandoned dogs and cats searching the streets for food, but they also found hungry and injured farm animals, some loose, that required care as well.

According to Misseri, Paws of War is trying to obtain trucks for general feed, including grain and pellets, to send into the country to help more animals in need. The biggest problem is that a consistent supply of food does not exist.

“There is one farm with about 75 cows and goats that we are now trying to relocate to safety in another country,” shared Misserli, further explaining that the farm in Ukraine currently houses the animals as commodities that are sold for profit. “That is an estimated 100 animals that need to be saved from the war and from slaughter. We hope to potentially start moving farm animals to Poland and Romania where they will not be slaughtered. We won’t let any animal leave to go to slaughter.”

While Misserli admits that helping farm animals may not be in their wheelhouse, they try to live a vegan lifestyle and help farm animals locally when they are able.

Some refugees, who, because of so much uncertainty, have made the heartbreaking decision that they cannot care for their pets, request that Paws of War relocate them. The organization is already working to find forever homes for many of these animals in the United States and Canada.

To help Paws of War continue to provide Ukrainian refugees relief for their pets as they cross the border, please donate HERE!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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