Florida dog shelter helps rescue dogs in war-torn Ukraine – Sun Sentinel


Fort Lauderdale – Displaced dogs from Ukraine – some roaming the streets injured, hungry and frightened – are about to get more help from the United States.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue, based in Loxahatchee Groves in Palm Beach County, is setting up a shelter in Poland near the Ukrainian border to help hundreds of dogs in need of rescue in the war-torn country.

In the three months since Russia invaded Ukraine, more than 6 million Ukrainians have fled the country and thousands have been killed. While many families have fled with their animals, the chaos has left countless pets homeless.

Big Dog Ranch founder Lauree Simmons left for Poland on Wednesday and plans to stay a week to set up the shelter, said Amanda Atwater, fundraising manager for the rescue group.

Before leaving, Simmons told WPBF-CH. 25 She was a little nervous to be so close to the war but felt compelled to go.

“How to say no? she told the station. “These dogs have lost their families. They have lost their homes. They are starving. They are not street dogs. They cannot fend for themselves.”

Simmons, who has been sending food and pet supplies to the area since the war began, plans to keep the shelter open for six months.

“Those dogs are starving out there,” Simmons told WPBF-Ch. 25. “They have no one to take care of them.”

Simmons began planning his rescue mission after an animal shelter in Romania approached him for help, Atwater said.

Volunteers from rescue groups in Ukraine bring the dogs to the shelter, a building near the Polish border that is being converted into a temporary shelter for the dogs, Atwater said.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue has set up a special fund to collect donations from those who want to help with their mission in Ukraine.

Simmons says she hopes to eventually reunite the dogs with their families or find them loving homes.

Susannah Bryan can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan


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