A Lady Freethinker grant of $5,000 to a Ukrainian nonprofit has helped purchase food and medicines and establish dozens of self-feeders for homeless cats and dogs around war-torn Kharkiv.
Dobri Vchynky Razom, which translates to “Good Deeds Together,” reached out to Lady Freethinker seeking assistance for companion animals abandoned by families fleeing the Russian invasion and for animals whose families hunkered down but could no longer afford food for them.
The organization had already installed a few of the feeders throughout the city to success, reporting that “the animals got used to them very quickly and line up to eat.”
Photos and videos shared with Lady Freethinker show both cats and dogs chomping down on kibble in the feeders, which dedicated volunteers fill through an opening in the top.
While the nonprofit devotes a large part of its efforts toward humanitarian aid, Director Oleksandra Dzirhun said in a video of the nonprofit’s work that it’s important not to forget about the country’s displaced animals.
“Most organizations and foundations are currently focused on helping people, and this is undoubtedly a very important issue,” Dzirhun said. “But we should not forget about helping our 4-legged friends because they cannot take care of themselves!”
The nonprofit also noted on its website that displaced and abandoned companion animals, used to love and care, seem to be having a particularly difficult time getting used to life on the streets.
“It is very difficult for homeless animals to survive on the streets without the help of humans,” the nonprofit wrote. “They can’t always find food and water, especially in the cold season.”
The nonprofit, in its grant application, cited an estimated 500 cats and 250 dogs in need of help. The Lady Freethinker grant of $5,000 went to various needs, including purchasing food and medicine for animals who need it.
“We will spend most of the money on food, as there is a big problem with homeless animals in the city,” Dobri Vchynky Razom told LFT in February.
By February, Dobri Vchynky Razom had installed 64 feeders, according to a Facebook post that also thanked @SavePets ofUA, @UHearts, and Julia Belâevíj for making those feeders — and the food within them — possible.
“We will continue to look after our smaller friends, and together we will be able to save dozens of lives!” a translation of the post from Ukrainian said.
Dobri Vchynky Razom said they wanted to thank Lady Freethinker readers for their generous support.
“To the supporters of Lady Freethinker, we want to say thank you for helping animals, because, unfortunately, most foundations and organizations help only people, and not everyone takes care of animals,” the nonprofit said. “We want to once again express our deep gratitude to you for your support! This is very valuable in such a difficult time for us.”
The nonprofit also regularly fields requests for medicines and supplements for animals, including for vitamins and flea and worm prevention, and also was looking to install warm beds for animals living on the streets during the approaching winter.