While the fight goes on in the Ukraine-Russia war, we want to take this time to acknowledge the brave soldiers fighting for Ukraine’s freedom. To add, we would like to highlight the wonderful deeds they’re doing, especially when it comes to saving the stray and abandoned dogs and cats left in war-torn areas in the country.

Here’s a list of the most inspiring and adorable rescues by the Ukrainian Ground Forces.

1. Random Cat, Slightly Shocked

This cat was caught by one of the Ukrainian soldiers. Though she seemed scared, she’s still okay with getting a hug.

2. Young Jessie

This adorable blue-eyed dog was rescued by another Ukrainian soldier who called her Jessie. Jessi’s a young Husky saved from the Kherson conflict.

3. The Playful Kisses

This dog was another rescue showering his hero some love (*and saliva, but that’s okay*).

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4. The Almost Newborn Hug

This stray cat was one of the rescues and has been seen cuddling close to her rescuer. As Ukraine’s Department of Defense noted, “Ukrainian soldiers love cats. After all, they not only lift their spirits, but are also able to see perfectly in the dark… the occupiers have nowhere to hide.”

5. Home in a Combat Helmet

When baby cats are born, they’re as sweet as you can expect, and most importantly, they need those warm places to cuddle and sleep in. So this soldier offered his helmet to be their temporary home.

6. Dog Saved from Traumatic Shock

This dog was rescued by one of Ukraine’s frontline soldiers. The dog was suffering from trauma and shock and could hardly stand. He had uncontrollable shakes and had a hard time standing up. The Ukrainian Warrior and his wife took him in, and “gave him so much love.” Now, he’s a really healthy boy with a lot of energy to play around with.

Welcome to your new family!

7. The Soldier Dog

Do. Not. Approach. We have a very scary dog driver. This dog was seen guarding a combat vehicle of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

8. Let’s Share A Meal

This Ukrainian soldier shared his already-limited food supply with the homeless and starving dog he met in the barracks.

9. Homeless No More

This homeless dog was wounded by Russian shelling in Kharkiv. Then, KRAKEN saved him. KRAKEN is a veteran-founded (just like us here at SOFREP) AZOV regiment.

Now, this dog has a family!

What Can I Do?

There are more stories of soldiers and civilians helping Ukrainian stray cats and dogs. As families get displaced (either by evacuation or forced displacement by Russian soldiers), most of these pets get abandoned or lost. Estonia is one of the countries welcoming Ukrainian refugees including their pets, according to Tallinn City Government Chief Specialist Helika Landsmann. Landsmann added that even though families are provided with food and shelter, there are times when resources for pets get neglected.

“When the animals get here, they are really hungry and they haven’t had water in days because people don’t know how long a time they have to travel,” she told TODAY. “At the moment, all our hotels and all refugee apartments are ready to help. … We understand that it’s not easy and the best way to help is to keep the family together as much as they can.”

So, if you want to help, you can send a couple of bucks (or a hundred) to these verified non-profit organizations focused on providing shelter and support to abandoned cats and dogs.

1. Humane Society International

Humane Society International helps relocated Ukrainian refugees find a new way of life, together with their pets.

“We have heard from refugees we’re helping in Berlin that the loyal companionship of their pets has kept them and their families going on the arduous journey to safety,” said Sylvie Kremerskothen Gleason, HIS’s Germany director, in a statement. “For children especially, their pets are an enormous source of comfort to help them cope with the trauma of war. These refugees are frightened and exhausted, so being able to help them care for their pets means they have one less thing to worry about at a time when they need help the most.”

To donate to HSI, visit their page here.

2. UAnimals

This is a verified Ukrainian animal rights organization helping animals during the war. To send immediate help, these are their PayPal and other banking details.

3. International Fund for Animal Welfare

IFAW works with local partners to support wildlife sanctuaries and animal shelters during the war. Send your support by visiting their page here.

4. Happy Paw

A Ukrainian non-profit helping about 60 shelters all over Ukraine, sharing photos and stories of their food deliveries and evacuation missions. To support Happy Paw, visit their page here.

5. Network for Animals

This is a global non-profit with centers in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Italy and more. During the Ukraine-Russia war, they’re focused in working with local partners in out-of-reach areas get access to supplies, pet foods and other resources. Help Network for Animals expand their reach by visiting their page here.

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