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Volunteers evacuate pets from Ukraine combat zones
Olha Zaitseva alongside two fellow volunteers.
Pets and people are being moved to safety.

Volunteers are risking their lives to rescue pets from cities on the current front-line of the war between Ukraine and Russia.

The Elefond foundation, founded by Olha Zaitseva, is currently evacuating animals from cities, towns and villages in the Donetsk region, including Avdiivka, Ocheretyne, Stepove and Chasiv Yar. The foundation also helps civilians leave dangerous areas.

Ms Zaitseva has been evacuating people and pets from the front-line since March 2022 as well as delivering humanitarian aid to those who are still living in conflict zones.

She said: “Many people leave animals, and the most painful part is that they leave them chained. Every time people were evacuated, everyone was asked to either untie their animals or I walked around and checked yards after people.”

While working in the city of Selydove, she was injured and has developed hearing difficulties in her left ear. Andrew Bagshaw and Chris Parry, two international volunteers who worked alongside her, were killed on the front-line in January 2023.

A project in memory of Mr Parry, called AnimalsParry, has been launched by Ms Zaitseva to help animals rescued in Ukraine.

Ms Zaitseva said: “Chris and I always took care of animals together and wanted to establish a shelter together, but we didn't have time.

“Therefore, I want Chris to be remembered. To continue evacuating them, we need new enclosures, more spaces, and more territory.”

The volunteers are receiving support from the charity U-Hearts, which has been providing Zaitseva’s team with pet food to feed the animals they rescue.

Image © U-Hearts

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."