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Just the Thought of Leaving Pets in a War Zone is an Incredibly Difficult Mental Exercise

The thought of losing my dogs or being forced to leave them behind in a war zone if I had to evacuate is an incredibly difficult mental exercise. I can barely even write about it. And yet I had been faced with this dilemma in my previous life when I lived in Nigeria. During my three years there we experienced two coups and I had to face the possibility that in the event of a mandated evacuation I would have to leave my pets behind. I was told in clear terms by the Embassy, that in this instance, I would not be able to take my two cats on board the helicopter.

Fortunately, this never happened and the town I lived in, Abuja, the Capital City, was the safest place in the country, given that we had tanks at the front of our hotel each day.

I can only imagine what pet owners in Ukraine are dealing with. So, I encourage everyone to help the pets left behind in Ukraine. Let’s help those helping the pets and hopefully provide a small ray of sunshine and hope for those who have had to make this unbearable decision to leave family behind.

Join us for this Facebook Live and please read this BARKS article about those who are helping the desperate.

You can access the BARKS article here 

Join us for a live event and Meet the People Behind the Fundraiser for Ukrainian Animal Shelters. 

PPG is supporting a fundraiser for six animal shelters in Ukraine. At this live event you can meet the creator, Dr. Marina Bayeva as well as supporting veterinarian Dr. Paula Klek and PPG’s Shelter & Rescue Division Chair Holden Svirsky. We will have updates on the use of funding as well as about the animals benefiting from your generous support.

Marina Bayeva

Marina Bayeva, MD, PhD was born and raised in Dnipro, Ukraine and is a Fellow in Hospital-Based Psychotherapy at The Austen Riggs Center in Massachusetts. Dr. Bayeva’s devotion to animal welfare causes began in childhood. She collected lunch scraps from the cafeteria for street cats while she convinced her parents to let her have a cat of her own, adding to their menagerie of guinea pigs, hamsters and birds. Dr. Bayeva’s parents still live in Dnipro, where her aid efforts to local shelters and rescue organizations have been focused. She currently shares her home with two rescued cats Herman and Tyson and her rescued dog, Henry, who loves to steal Impossible burgers from the freezer.

Paula Klek

Paula Klek, DVM is a first-generation Ukrainian-American and a practicing veterinarian in Massachusetts. Dr. Klek graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. She shares her life with three dogs: Nattie, Bleu and Graysea, and an African Gray parrot named Quixote.

Holden Svirsky

K. Holden Svirsky, CTC, CSAT is a canine behavior consultant in Massachusetts. She is the Chair of PPG’s Shelter & Rescue Division and sits on PPG’s Advocacy Panel. Holden is a graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers and a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer. Holden is a second-generation Ukrainian-American. She currently shares her life with her Yakutian Laika dog, Zymova Zirka, which means “Winter’s Star.”


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