Animal Welfare Annual Report 2022

As this year draws to a close, we would like to thank all our friends for your support, which makes our work possible. We couldn’t do it without you.

For Nova Ukraine volunteers, 2022 has been by far the busiest and the most difficult year to date, full of unprecedented challenges and great rewards. Through it all, we have been comforted by the enormous support we received and by the successes we had saving and improving the lives of  thousands of Ukrainians during these trying times. Here is how your donations have been spent.

Since March, we have been able to allocate $573,339 to animal welfare. Over the course of these ten months, we have shifted our funding distribution to ensure we provide the most valuable, efficient, and essential help. For Nova Ukraine, this meant focusing on small shelters and independent volunteers who do not have access to aid from other international organizations due to factors such as lack of English speaking ability, lack of computers, and no official status or registration. 

Over the past ten months, Nova Ukraine has increased funding for urgent veterinary procedures, preventative care, animal evacuations, construction, and equine care. At the same time, we have slightly decreased spending on food and wild and exotic animals. 

What sets Nova Ukraine apart is our closeness to Ukraine and understanding of the country’s needs on a very personal level. While many organizations are able to purchase and bring in food supplies, very few of them  have the knowledge and comfort level to commit to more unusual programs, such as shelter expansions, veterinary programs, and evacuations. Nova Ukraine volunteers understand the needs of the Ukrainian people in a very intimate way and are thus able to dedicate time and energy on programs others overlook.  In addition, we provide a thorough vetting process. 


Thanks to our donors, we have completed hundreds of animal welfare projects since March, all of which can be found in our Facebook Animal Welfare Reports Group. This first-hand reporting style allows our donors to view the recipients’ web pages and see exactly how their donations were spent. All Facebook posts are automatically translated to each user’s language, and updates are available on a daily basis.

Our spending chart (above) illustrates how we distribute our funding among all facets of animal welfare: food, shelter, veterinary care, and evacuations. In keeping with our mission to help all animals — not only companion animals — we have also provided essential aid to horses at equine centers and private stables and to exotic and wild animals at rescues, rehabilitation centers, and humane zoos.

Below are some of the most impactful projects we have established this year with your generous support.

Babinetskiy Shelter Expansion

Babinetskiy Shelter is located in Babyntsi, a small town situated between the now infamous Bucha and Borodyanka. The shelter was established to accommodate animals lost and abandoned in this region, which was so badly devastated by the war. This location was chosen for several reasons:

  1. Proximity to Kyiv, which results in higher adoption rates (animals are more likely to be picked up from a shelter in larger cities).
  2. This small town is sparsely populated, with enough open space around the shelter to prevent it from becoming a nuisance to its neighbors because of the noise.
  3. The town setting means that routine veterinary service is available at the local clinic, located in close proximity. Meanwhile, the proximity to Kyiv ensures emergency access to hi-tech veterinary services for injured animals.

The shelter has already accepted animals from Bakhmut, Lyman, Tsyrkuny, Vovchansk, and Kherson. These are some of the most devastated regions of Ukraine, which are now largely deserted as a result of massive evacuations. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that these animals left behind be evacuated as well, to keep them from succumbing to the cold and hunger.

Nova Ukraine has built nine large enclosures at this shelter. This provides space for about 20 large dogs, typically the most difficult animals to place. Providing enough space and preventing overcrowding is essential to improve the chance for these animals to adapt to their new circumstances. By providing humane living conditions, we ensure healthier, happier animals with fewer behavioral issues and a better chance at finding a loving home. Moreover, these kennel facilities create a long lasting, positive impact for the community of Babyntsi.

Animal SOS Veterinary Program

Veterinary care is an essential part of animal welfare. We are currently running 15 preventative veterinary care programs in seven regions of Ukraine. One of our largest programs is organized by Viktorija Korpusova of Animal SOS in Odessa. Since our initial cooperation in April, we have funded the spaying and neutering of 1,434 animals. Eleven clinics in the Odessa region were involved in this program, which provides discounted procedures for homeless animals. Although pricing for sterilization procedures varies significantly based on gender and size, the average sterilization price per animal in these clinics comes to $20.

Providing affordable sterilizations is a critically important aspect of animal welfare. Right now, all shelters in Ukraine are overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed. Our proactive spay/neuter programs are key to controlling the population of homeless animals. 

With so many animals becoming lost or  being abandoned, an increase among homeless animals can occur very rapidly. A cat can have a new litter of up to nine kittens three times a year, and a dog can deliver up to 12 puppies twice a year. This reproductive rate results in a catastrophic exponential increase, which will significantly deteriorate the quality of care that we — or anyone — is able to provide. More information about the importance of spaying and neutering animals can be found in our Spay/Neuter Blog from June.

In addition to providing spay/neuter procedures to shelters, we have also funded several trap-neuter-release missions. This effort involves a team of trained people who catch feral animals, provide sterilizations and vaccinations when possible, mark them (with a tag or a cropped ear), and then release them back where they were found. Animal welfare volunteers and organizations provide food for these animals, monitor their wellbeing, and track new intact animals. This effort helps us keep the feral population at least partially under check and healthy.

Air Conditioning, Ventilation, and Insulation in “Home for Strays”

We started working with the shelter Home for Strays in April and then quickly realized how much our missions and approaches align. The shelter has trainers who volunteer to work with challenging animals; an active volunteer base that socializes and walks the animals; and a timely vaccination and spay/neuter program to make sure animals are healthy. In addition, the shelter is adoption-focused, with an experienced matchmaking team and a well-versed agreement that welcomes its animals back any time, for any reason.

Since the beginning of the war, the shelter has accepted 182 evacuated animals: 67 dogs, and 115 cats. Many of them arrive sick, injured, or emaciated. Every animal receives high-quality care. Of these evacuated animals, 77 (21 dogs and 56 cats) have already found new homes. This result rate is exceptional for  a war-torn country.

How we did it:

Initially we provided mostly basic supplies such as food, beds, leashes, collars, and crates. But gradually the needs of the shelter have shifted. By the end of March, the Kyiv region came under heavy shelling and was under partial occupation. Many of the volunteers who previously commuted across Kyiv to walk the dogs could not continue the daily travel. At the same time, more animals were coming from the frontlines.

In May we purchased a small mobile trailer for storage and a space for volunteers. By moving supplies to the trailer we freed up space at the shelter for incoming animals and provided space for volunteers to stay overnight when necessary to limit travel.

As the shelter became overrun with animals, we began to think bigger. The sudden influx made quarantining animals difficult. Even vaccinated animals were in danger of becoming sick because of their low immunity from the stress of war. During the hot summer the space was stuffy. Later on, the prospect of the cold winter worried the staff even more. Nova Ukraine came to the rescue. We funded an air conditioning system and insulated the shelter walls. These improvements provided temperature comfort for stressed animals, higher ventilation to minimize the spread of disease, and efficient temperature control for the volunteers.

With the help of IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and our generous donors, we are continuing to expand Home for Strays, and are currently constructing additional kennels and cat boxes at the shelter.

Personal Stories


A soldier found Sky shortly after the liberation of Ruski Tyshky. Sky had a large infected wound on his torso and burns on his nose and ears — all likely the results of active warfare. Sky was surrendered to Animal Rescue Kharkiv, a rescue group Nova Ukraine has been supporting since March. After being treated, Sky made a full recovery and was adopted by friends of the soldier who rescued him. He now lives in a loving home in Dnipro, where he awaits a reunion with his hero.


A pregnant dog, looking for safety and comfort, made her way to a military position in Izum. Shortly thereafter, she had four puppies. Two were adopted, but the remaining two who stayed at the military position got sick. One perished soon thereafter, but Raisin was saved by the quick actions of a kind soldier who immediately had her transferred to a clinic. The timely veterinary care funded by Nova Ukraine saved Rasin’s life. She made a full recovery and found a home with three siblings who had waited for her to fill their hearts.


Tamir was a handicapped horse that was headed to the butcher. Years of racing were followed by extensive riding exploitation that left him with a shoulder and back injury. Prior to the war, a trainer noticed Tamir’s injuries and had him suspended from all physical work aside from photoshoots. Since the start of the war, many stables have faced great hardships: starvation due to lack of hay, epidemics due to lack of veterinary resources, and bankruptcy. As a result, many horses were sold for meat. When Nova Ukraine was notified about Tamir, we joined other volunteers in an effort to rescue him. We paid for his buyout so he could be adopted by an experienced stable owner. Tamir joined other handicapped horses in his new home, where he continues to recover and enjoy life.

Without the help of our kind donors, none of this would be possible. We are grateful for every dollar we have received. As the war continues, and there is no end in sight, we urge you to continue your support so we can scale and continue to grow, covering more and more ground, and bringing more and more animals to safety.

Please indicate “Animal Rescue” in your donation to direct funds towards our animal rescue efforts.

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