Imagine your world crumbling around you. Your small town is being bombarded mercilessly and tanks are running through the streets. You can’t see out of the windows because of the blasts and have no internet or phone connection. Therefore, you must hide in the basement for several days.
You are able to hear a neighbor tell you that people are trying to flee from the partially-destroyed bridge.You only have 30 minutes to pack everything and get out of your house without knowing where you are and when you’ll be returning. This is what thousands of people in Irpin, a once peaceful town just 27 kilometers from Kyiv, have seen. Heavy fighting has been raging since weeks. Some people couldn’t afford their horrified pets to go with them.
Anastasiia Tjaia, 20, couldn’t have it. Arturo, her 26-year-old husband, and some kind people helped her to do it. He saved 15 dogs, some of them disabled, five cats and a turtle.
According to him, he said that he had run the shelter for animals in Irpin before the invasion began. He collected abandoned dogs from the streets and helped them find homes.
Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and the chaos ensued, but Putin could not just walk out of his office. It would have been certain death for them. He didn’t think about it. He said that they were “like children to me”. After a brief time they were able to escape together, they eventually had enough and left the city.
After being struck by Russian mines and gunfire, the evacuation of Irpin was very dangerous. At least 8 people died. Arturo, Nastya, and Arturo had the responsibility of walking the animals around the village, crossing the bridge and putting them in a donated car.It was difficult.
They placed cats in a shopping basket and a chameleon inside a pocket. The dogs were scared and pulled the young woman along in all directions. They even fought each other and overturned some dogs’ carts. Some of them had to be carried like a disabled dog with amputated hind limbs that were bleeding. Fortunately, some of these dogs were able to take the lead, with a 15 year-old Grandfather and a Dogo Argentino leading.
There was no reason to be scared. She was captured by a journalist at that moment. Her image became the most famous of all the war photos, representing Courage and kindness in the face adversity Valentyn, a fellow evacuationee, helped the animals and soldiers of the territorial defense unit assisted them in crossing the bridge. Along the way, Amistad, a soldier gave to them, was joined by several dogs.
They are now in Kyiv. CThey continued to help their animals, even returning to Irpin to look for dogs who would let them out on their first attempt.It was not difficult to get through the second time.
They have already sent 7 dogs and 37 cats to Germany. However, they still need funds to continue to care for the animals. Nastya will care for the most traumatized pets who are afraid to speak with other people.
Nastya said that the owners of another shelter had left the village, and that they locked up many dogs and cats without food and water. Since then they have been fed, but Nastya told La Razón that he plans to go there again to recover the animals, as well as Nayda, a dog that was released in Irpin.