Animals Caught in Conflict: Battersea Supports Efforts to Protect Animals in Ukraine

13 Feb 2023

In response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, leading animal welfare charity Battersea has been providing financial support to those organisations on the ground helping Ukrainian animals and those that care for them. The charity has so far awarded over a quarter of a million pounds through their Global Programmes work to help with the provision of food, equipment, medication and care to animals caught up in the conflict.

Last year Battersea awarded an emergency grant of £200,000 to animal aid distributor Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide (UPAW), whose volunteers work tirelessly to help feed the country’s many abandoned animals and provide ongoing support to the country’s shelters, many of which are operating at full capacity.

Battersea’s Director of Global Programmes Paul Marvell explains: “Battersea has spent over 160 years caring for the most vulnerable animals in society, and we are determined to do whatever we can to extend this same care and attention to those in need beyond our gates.

“We firmly believe the best way to help effect positive change for these animals is by sharing our resources with organisations like UPAW. By combining our financial support with their detailed knowledge of the Ukrainian animal welfare landscape, together we’ve been able to successfully purchase and deliver equipment and supplies that will improve the lives of so many innocent animals – all whilst making things that little bit easier for those people going above and beyond to care for them.”

With the country grappling with nationwide electricity blackouts, vet clinics have been left unable to perform emergency procedures, whilst rescue centres have struggled to provide even the most basic level of care for the thousands of animals in need during a particularly cold winter.

Battersea has provided funding to enable UPAW to purchase and deliver 49 electric power generators to some of Ukraine’s most war-torn regions. These power sources will allow clinics to treat an estimated 4,500 animals each month and keep approximately 8,000 dogs and cats warm and cared for in local rescue centres.

In Ukraine’s North Eastern city of Sumy, located just over 20km from the Russian border, the generators are already helping clinics like VetCity get back to business. Speaking about the challenges of running a practice without electricity, one vet there said: “At the beginning of the year it was impossible to work, perform surgery and other usual veterinary activities. It will be much easier, and we’ll be much more productive now that we have light, heat and a coagulator.”

Located a few hours’ drive further south in Kharkiv, is DarynaVet clinic where a member of the team told supporters: “We’ve been having to perform surgery wearing only head torches. Having the generator means we no longer need to cancel emergency services and can get back to our usual operating schedule. Thanks again for such a gift - I am just too thrilled for words.”

Commenting on the collaboration, UPAW Co-founder Olga Kirilovich concluded: “Operating conditions are so tough for shelters and clinics right now. Those individuals we work with toil day in, day out to make life better for these animals, but without the very basics of electricity, heating and lighting, even with the best will in the world there’s only so much they can do.

“We are so thankful to those organisations from other countries stepping in to support us, enabling us to help even more tailed hostages of war. With the right help, we can help ensure innocent animals are not unfairly suffering as a result of this ongoing crisis.”

To donate or find out more about UPAW, visit their website here:

Since beginning their Global Programmes work in 2018, Battersea has provided grants to over 200 rescues in the UK and overseas including organisations in Ukraine, Thailand, Greece and South Africa. To find out more about Battersea’s work around the world visit the website:


Notes to editors

About Battersea

  • Battersea is committed to helping every dog and cat that needs us - championing their rights, loving their imperfections and expertly caring for them. Because rescue is our favourite breed.
  • Battersea’s influence now stretches far beyond our physical centres as we strive to build a better world for dogs and cats, sharing our expertise with rescue and rehoming organisations across the globe and supporting them through our grant making.
  • Since Battersea started awarding grants in 2018, we have indirectly helped 390,000 animals worldwide.
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or

About UPAW

  • Established in April 2022, UPAW is a dedicated website and online platform for animal welfare aid distribution across the country, formed by a partnership of Four Paws, IRS and Dogs Trust Worldwide. It has worked tirelessly to protect the thousands of dogs and cats abandoned as a result of the conflict. 
  • As well as the provision of food and supplies, they are also undertaking works focusing on rebuilding, transportation, electrical generation for shelters and veterinary clinics, and the establishment of a hotline for requests from frontline conflict areas. 
  • To date UPAW has delivered over 129,639 monthly meals for dogs and cats (amount of pet food sufficient for two daily meals during a month) and 76,000 euros worth of veterinary medicines, equipment and consumables to clinics.
  • Follow UPAW on Instagram @upaw.official or Facebook @UPAW2022