The Ukraine War Animals Relief Fund (UWARF), a volunteer-led nonprofit run by an Edmonds man, has received a $50,000 grant from Humane Society International (HSI) to support its next mission to Ukraine.
The funding will enable UWARF to provide crucial veterinary services — including sterilization, vaccination and medical care — to abandoned and vulnerable animals across priority regions in Ukraine, founder Dan Fine said.
As we have reported in earlier stories about UWARF, since the start of the Ukraine invasion, millions of refugees have been forced to leave beloved family pets behind, abandoned and without proper care. Stray animals now roam the streets, facing hunger, disease and an uncertain fate. With historically low sterilization and vaccination rates, the battered country is already experiencing an exploding population of strays, which poses a significant public health risk, including the looming threat of a rabies crisis that could impact communities for years to come.
UWARF’s team of volunteers will be returning to Ukraine for their fifth mission in August, visiting the cities and regions of Beregovo, Ivano-Frankivsk, Shevchenkovo, Kupyansky District, Eschan, Nikolaev region and Marganets. Since early 2022, UWARF has treated over 5,500 animals in need.
UWARF aims to not only improve the lives of stray animals but also mitigate the potential health risks they pose to returning families and children who are particularly vulnerable to the threat of rabies.
“The large number of stray animals that are unsterilized and unvaccinated is a massive problem that no large NGO in Ukraine is currently addressing,”Fine said. “The HSI support is a powerful validation of our work and the urgent need to address the plight of Ukraine’s animals.”
For more information about UWARF and its August 2023 mission, visit the Mission 5 campaign page here.