By Writing Mortagne-au-Perche
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“Are you afraid of dogs? asks Oxana, before releasing Zlata and Jetta, two furballs, excited to see a new person, coming from shelters in Ukraine and with disabilities, into the living room. “Jetta, the one with both hind legs amputated, we picked her up when we came to transfer our dogs between Ukraine and France. »
Fifteen dogs brought back to France
This transfer was made at the end of March, shortly after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “At the start of the war, there were a lot of injured animals. I was desperate. I wanted to do something, I wanted to help. With Mickaël, we knocked on all the doors in the area”, explains the one who arrived from Moldova, about fifteen years ago.
I know that by helping animals, we help the people who take care of them, who have chosen to take care of them.
The young woman explains that she wanted to help a small shelter, after realizing that the older ones were already being helped. “In Ukraine, it’s not at all like in France. No shelter has public funding, it only works with donations. »
After much research, the couple’s choice fell on a small improvised shelter near Odessa, run by a single woman with a hundred dogs, “located on land surrounded by military buildings”.
A rented van and several thousand kilometers swallowed up, the couple, with the help of a few volunteers, made it possible to bring back to France about fifteen dogs. “What you have to think about is that we saved these dogs, but also those who took their place in this shelter,” adds Mickaël.
These dogs were deposited in a reception structure in the south of France, which agreed to take care of the forms for their new life.
Food, medicine and blankets
The Mamers couple didn’t stop there. In August, they decided to return to Ukraine to this same shelter, after collecting donations. “We left with a full 4×4, a trunk on top of the car. We had to have nearly 15 kilograms of food, but also medicines and blankets. »
Despite the many donations received, some did not understand their approach. “We were told “We have enough dogs in France, we have to help women and children! “, explained Mickaël. “I know that by helping animals, we help the people who take care of them, who have chosen to take care of them,” adds Oxana. Marina [la gérante du refuge près d’Odessa NDLR] often asks me about the dogs we have brought. She sees horrors every day, it’s her small comfort to see that these few happy dogs. »
A kitty for veterinary expenses
Today, as Christmas approaches, the couple continues their actions by launching a kitty, which will be entirely donated to two refuges in Ukraine: the one near Odessa, but also another in Dnipro. “This money will mainly be for veterinary costs,” explains Oxana, showing the Facebook page of the shelters, where the invoices for the various operations are posted.
Also, she wants this money to help the volunteers in charge of the two shelters. “We are not aiming for huge sums, but for them it is already a lot. »
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