‘Operation Paw-pose’ kickstarts season of giving for pets in Ukraine

Abandoned pets in war-torn Ukraine hoping for a glimmer of joy this Christmas as leading Ukraine charity, U-Hearts, launches Operation Paw-pose.

The initiative is calling on the UK pet-loving population to purchase a festive hamper made up of essential items, including blankets, food, and medical supplies.

Accelerating the Christmas mission is award-wining TV dog groomer, Verity Hardcastle, who has shared her dog grooming expertise on BBC’s Pooch Perfect, Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch and CBBC’s Blue Peter.

 With the war ongoing and thousands of stray and homeless pets requiring desperate support, Verity will be encouraging her followers and UK citizens to help alleviate their suffering by purchasing a festive hamper from leading Ukrainian retailer Epicentr LLC’s website.

Similar to a Christmas shoebox, the three festive hampers are made up of essential items and require only two simple steps to purchase. This way, U-Hearts is able to get the support quickly and efficiently to animals as the hampers are already in Ukraine.

The hampers on offer include:

  • Cats — valued at approximately £15 including anti-flea drops and collar, food, shampoo, a toy, bowl, litter and anthelmintics.
  • Small and medium-sized dogs — valued at £27.29 including food, a toy, anti-flea drops and collar, bowl, shampoo, lead, collar and anthelmintics.
  • Large dogs — valued at £38.45 including food, a toy, anti-flea drops and collar, bowl, shampoo, lead, collar, anthelmintics and vitamins.

Running from Monday 21st November until January 2023, the purchased hampers will be distributed to as many animals and shelters as possible across Ukraine.

Four helpless dogs needing suppawt include Max, Lucy, Misha and Magnatyk. The dogs were rescued before the Russian invasion; but, because they live near the conflict in Sumy, the dogs and their owners are at constant risk of shelling and rocket attacks, making it extremely difficult to source food and supplies.

So far, U-Hearts Foundation has donated 20kg of food to the family, but this isn’t enough; and, unfortuanately, many animals are living in similiar dangerous situations.

 Chief Executive Officer of the U-Hearts Foundation, Yuriy Tokarski, said: “Hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats are living on war-torn streets without their families. It is devastating to witness.

“Every animal deserves to feel the magic of Christmas, which is why we’re hoping Operation Paw-pose will go a long way in providing the animals of Ukraine the necessities they need for basic survival. So far, we’ve fed over 37,000 cats and 67,000 dogs and delivered approximately 1,000 vaccines across Kharkiv, Gostomel, Chronobyl and Poltava. ur aim is to increase this over the winter period.”

TV dog groomer and presenter Verity Hardcastle added: “As a devoted dog groomer, I am committed to animal welfare and the impact the war in Ukraine has had and continues to have on innocent pets’ lives is heartbreaking.

“I hope the UK pet-loving population will get behind us and help make more tails wag and eyes light up this Christmas.”

Iryna Shynkarenko, Chief Marketing Officer at Epicentr LLC, added: “We’re very proud to be supporting U-Hearts Foundation on their important mission at a crucial time of year.

“Every day I drive to work and pass the buildings destroyed by Russian missiles and it breaks my heart thinking about the number of people and animals who suffered and are continuiing to suffer. As a country, we can’t handle this crisis by ourselves — we need help from the world.”

In addition to generous UK supporters, U-Hearts Foundation has received support from the pet trade and has three UK partners so far, including leading pet retailer, Pets Corner; Midlands communications agency, spottydog communications; and the Pet Industry Federation (PIF).

To support the animals of Ukraine and give back this Christmas, you can purchase a hamper here: https://epicentrk.ua/pet-boxes/

To support the charity via monetary donations, visit: https://u-hearts.foundation/supportourwork/