Charity on Dogs in Ukraine Shelter: 'They Died a Terrible Death'

UAnimals says more than 300 dogs perished at Borodyanka site after no food, water for a month
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2022 7:11 AM CDT
Charity: Hundreds of Dogs Died in Ukraine Shelter Amid War
This satellite image shows heavily damaged high-rise residential buildings in Borodyanka, Ukraine, on March 9, 2022.   (Satellite image ?2022 Maxar Technologies via AP)

As the world recoils at the images of death emerging out of Bucha, Ukraine, Ukrainian officials fear civilian massacres in Borodyanka might be even worse. An animal rights group now announces another apparent horror in the settlement northwest of Kyiv: hundreds of dogs found dead in a shelter, neglected since the beginning of the Russian invasion more than a month ago, reports CBS News. UAnimals says that the shelter had 485 dogs onsite when the Russians made their way into Borodyanka at the end of February. Troops didn't leave the town until the beginning of this month, which is when charity volunteers say they were finally able to return to the shelter, where they found only 150 dogs still alive after the animals had been left without food or water during their ordeal.

"I have no words," a tearful Oleksandra Matviichuk, head of Ukraine's Center for Civil Liberties, tweeted Sunday as she walked through what looked to be dozens of dead dogs in the shelter. "WHY??" The Independent notes it couldn't verify the authenticity of the video, though a Ukrainian government official posted a separate video said to be from the same shelter showing a similar scene, though involving just one dog carcass. Nearly 30 of the surviving dogs in the worst condition were reported taken to private clinics to be treated, per UAnimals. "They died a terrible death without food and water, locked in their cells," the charity noted in a Tuesday Facebook post, which included more disturbing pictures from the shelter. "All guilty ... should be punished."

UAnimals says it's offering a $1,700 reward to anyone willing to take the surviving dogs in. Writing for the Atlantic, George Packer notes how animals are often an uncounted casualty during war, though in this case, "animals have become Russian targets for no purpose other than sheer cruelty." Packer adds: "The Russians have identified yet another way to inflict pain on the Ukrainian people—not by starving them but by breaking their heart." The Moscow Times has published a pictorial that shows the people of Ukraine who are fleeing their homes and hunkering down in shelters across the nation, their furry friends by their side. (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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