The Home for Rescued Animals in Lviv in Ukraine has helped to find a new home for many animals since the war started. They’ve taken in pets from people who are fleeing the violence.
Natalia Horobets and her husband Volodymyr made the extremely emotional decision to leave their beloved cat Charly at the shelter. They fled Donetsk with Charly.
“He is playful, he is not quiet, he likes to play. It was hard to transport him in the cage because he is very active and does not want to stay in a cage. He tried to get out of it,” Natalia told news agency Reuters.
“Our trip by train lasted for 40 hours. It was really hard for him. He was all over, we tried to keep him next to us, so that he could not run away. There were many people, and we were afraid that he would be trampled down,” she continued.
Rasma Krecia, a volunteer from Latvia, plans to bring Charly, along with as many pets as possible, to Latvia, where they can be rehoused until the war is over.
“I just couldn’t stay. If I have an opportunity, if I have a large van, if I can bring food here and take some animals back to safety, I can’t stay at home,” Krecia said.
“We are not sure how we’re going to cross the border because some of the volunteers that are going in and out of Ukraine taking animals out, they are sometimes saying that on the Polish border the guards are saying that there’s an only five animal limit per person,” she added.
“Charly, my little one, you will come back home, but you need to stay in a different place for now, you will be good there,” Natalia told her cat.
“We hope that our cat [Charly] will come back to us, that we will reunite and live together again. Many thanks to Latvians, they are our friends. Thank you! We will never forget it. Thank you!” Natalia said, adding that she and her husband would stay in Lviv. “We hope that Ukraine will endure and win, and we will come back home.”
While Reuters was at the animal shelter, a resident brought in half a dozen puppies her friend had found in a box at the train station three days ago.
“Three days ago, a friend of mine, who lives next to the train station, was walking her dog and found them [puppies] next to the tree. There were more of them. There was a small box full of them,” Iryna Vasilieva, who lives in Lviv, said.