As the situation in the Ukraine continues to deepen, those at the Scituate Animal Shelter felt compelled to do something to aid their counterparts in the war-ravaged country.
“Even though our mission is to help animals locally, all of us have been concerned about the situation in Ukraine – for people and for animals,” said Lisey Good, a past president of the SAS who currently handles the shelter’s communications and is a volunteer dog walker “We put ourselves in their shoes and thought, what would happen if suddenly the Scituate Animal Shelter had five times as many animals because people had fled the region and left their animals behind? And then, what if there was no money to feed them? We just couldn’t sit by and let that happen without at least trying to help.”
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SAS Board Member Stacey Weaver suggested the animal shelter consider a donation to an organization that was specifically helping Ukraine animals, Good said.
“The board voted unanimously to do it.”
Sending love and money
The SAS donated $5,000 to the Harmony Fund for its Ukraine efforts.
“In that part of the world, $5,000 can do a lot in terms of purchasing supplies,” Good said.
A non-profit organization based out of Holden, Harmony Fund is a small charity with the prime focus of raising money to help small animal rescues and charities in parts of the world where there are very few resources for animals, or where animals are not culturally loved or cared for, Good said.
“They are unique in that they don’t just support big animal charities, they also help individual rescuers, for example a woman who lives in Turkey and cares for street cats,” she said. “In Turkey, cities and towns routinely put out poison as their only method of animal control. It’s barbaric. So, this woman used to try to care for the cats by feeding, finding homes, etc. Now, with Harmony Fund’s help, she’s able to get neutering and spay surgeries to help humanely control the population. This means she can give better lives to the rest of the cats she cares for as well.”
Good, who is on the board of the Harmony Fund, is the connection between the Harmony Fund and the SAS.
A desperate need for help
Good forwarded a quote from Laura Simpson, executive director of the Harmony Fund.
“I was just speaking with Alexandra Levitska at Ugolyok Shelter. She was hiding in her basement with her very young daughter who suffers from autism, and many many dogs. Her association has three shelters for hundreds and hundreds of horses, cows, pigs, sheep, donkeys, dogs, and cats.
The workers are with the animals at each location, but they are all afraid. Naturally, some of the animals won’t eat. Alexandra said that supplies are getting more expensive and more dangerous to get. Our conversation ended on such an unsettling note as I asked her to please, please stay safe. As a mother and a rescuer, I can’t imagine what it must be like to be in her shoes right now. Thank God all the world has eyes on Ukraine, and together we can try to provide some measure of comfort.”
In the Ukraine, the Harmony Fund has been helping in a few ways:
- It is supporting shelters in Dnepr City, Kiev, Kherson and Nikolaev by sending funds so they can purchase food
- It is working with a Romanian animal charity partner to get food and supplies to refugees coming over the Romanian border with pets and livestock. It is working with this same partner to get trucks of supplies (dog and cat kibble as well as livestock food) and over the border into Ukraine whenever there are ceasefires and/or it is safe. They will also bring vets to help with injured or sick animals.
- It is working to send funds to a wildlife rehabilitation center that has been desperate for funds.
“We know our friends donate to us because they love animals and are moved to action when they hear animals are suffering,” Good said. “We trust that they will be happy about this, and those who have learned of it so far say they are so grateful and relieved.”
The SAS is a strong organization lucky enough to be able to help animals in other parts of the world from time to time, Good said, such as when they held a supply drive for Texas pet owners impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, or when they collected supplies to help wildlife injured in the Australian bush fires in 2020.
For more information on the Harmony Fund visit HarmonyFund.org. For information on the Scituate Animal Shelter visit scituateanimalshelter.org
Follow Ruth Thompson on Twitter @scituateruth