Ukraine Report: Fleeing Family’s Dog Saved From Shelter
“I love when the stars align.”
That’s how Aaron Jackson describes his day today on the frontlines of the war.
“I just showed up to a dog rescue on the Poland/Ukraine border,” says Jackson on Facebook. “A refugee family from Ukraine walks up with a dog to forfeit it over to the rescue. They don’t have any housing and they didn’t want to be homeless with their dog.”
Aaron Jackson described the rare joy one family felt today as “emotional and happy” in the middle of a terrifying crisis, as war rages on in Ukraine.
Aaron Jackson is the founder of Planting Peace, a global non-profit that aids people and places in need – especially in urgent times. Yesterday, OMDNews reported that Jackson rushed from the States to the Polish-Ukraine border to do anything Planting Peace could for people and – and their pets.
He encountered one family of millions fleeing their home as Russians continue to devastate their country with extreme violence.
The unnamed family – along with their dog – left behind all but a few of their belongings to escape war torn Ukraine. They safely made it over the border to Poland, but relief was fleeting. As refugees among millions, their lives have become uncertain, exhausting, and distressed.
And that included the grief of giving up their pet. Without the means, they knew they could no longer sustain caring for their beloved dog, Bella. They went to the Kundelek animal shelter in Poland to surrender their pet.
But, for Bella the dog, Jackson was in the right place at the right time. Having just arrived on an unscheduled visit to the rescue, Planting Peace provided the assistance that enabled the family to keep their dog. He has rented pet-friendly housing to provide refugees with pets immediate support and shelter.
Last minute help comes to refugees before losing pet
Jackson has been in contact with Nicole Frey, Founder of the B.C.-non-profit Animal Food Bank. Planting Peace is one of a number of organizations they are currently providing support to, which is hurriedly sending funds to Ukraine and finding ways to get pallets of pet food to animals in need overseas.
“I saw a lot of refugees with their pets, Jackson posted on Facebook.
“When working at a homeless shelter many years ago we had a rule that if the homeless came in with their dogs we would make a path for them. Other shelters wouldn’t allow dogs. These people gave up their home and life.”
“[I’m] not going to ask them to take that one step further and give up their puppy. I would not leave my greyhound behind. So, I get it. Happy to help refugees fleeing with pets.”
Even during times of war, people face many restrictions and red tape when it comes to crossing borders with animals. The same applies for getting much needed supplies getting to the right places. Grassroots organizations like Jackson’s are trying to expedite aid by working family by family on the frontlines.
As Russian troops continue the violent attacks on Ukraine, the UN estimates that refugee numbers will rise as high as four million people.
Still, uplifting stories pour out of the area – stories of valour and support. Ukrainians are being greeted in surrounding countries with compassion, and signs of support. Volunteers are scrambling for supplies and setting up safe refuge.
The gift of keeping Bella is one of countless moments of hope and help in a time of war.
There are many ways we can reach out to give aid to the people suffering in Ukraine. We here at OMDNews also give our hearts out to the pets and animals in need.
To contribute to a number of organizations and people with boots on the ground helping animals, the Animal Food Bank is hooked into the most current places and ways to help. Find ways to contribute here., including directly to Planting Peace.