Distribution centers and a number of pet shops have been destroyed by airstrikes since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24th. The main priority now is recovering the activity and assisting animal shelters across the country.
The daily operations of Ukrainian pet manufacturer Suziria are not easy as its main distribution center in the northeastern city of Kharkiv is currently blocked.
“We do not have access to the significant part of the goods”, warned co-owner and CEO Polina Kosharna in a conversation with GlobalPETS.
Despite the adversity, the company decided to resume operations last week. Of the 101 MasterZoo stores across the country, between 55 and 70 remain open daily “depending on the safety”. 8 stores have been completely destroyed.
Additionally, the distribution subsidiaries of Kharkiv and Kyiv are serving the customers for self-pickup and slightly recovering delivery operations only to safe regions.
The shops of local company COLLAR were initially working but they are not in operation anymore. Furthermore, one of their boutiques was destroyed by a Russian airstrike.
“Under shelling and air raid alerts COLLAR’s pet shops worked and pet owners had an opportunity to buy food for their pets,” said the company. And for those who could not make it to the shops, the company established a home delivery food service.
Feeding 100,000 dogs and cats
In a difficult time for local players to continue with the business, several initiatives are trying to help those animals that remain in the country.
“Save Pets of Ukraine”, led by local manufacturer Kormotech, has distributed more than 146 tons of pet food since it started working 20 days ago. In addition, 514 pet care volunteers and animal shelters received assistance.
“We keep working. We are looking for opportunities to save more cats and dogs,” the company said to GlobalPETS.
Kormotech is also partnering with US-based Greater Good Charities, which is collecting cash donations overseas. The organization is also collecting product donations from US companies and shipping them to Europe.
The program that UAnimals started to rescue animals and receive financial aid received in last week more than 33,000 kg of animal food. According to the organization, they provided financial assistance to 82 shelters worth UAH 1,031,500 (€31,785 / $34,966) only in last week.
The initiative aimed to find 3,500 patrons and the current number already passed 3,400.
Animal welfare organization FOUR PAWS launched the Ukrainian Pet Association Worldwide (UPAW), aiming to collect donations and facilitate the distribution of dog and cat food to hundreds of shelters in the country.
So far, it has distributed 176 tons of pet food to over 100 shelters in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities. “This equates to feeding over 100,000 dogs and cats,” said a spokesperson.
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