CLEVELAND (WJW) – As the number of Ukrainian civilians killed and injured in attacks by Russian troops continues to rise, so too does the number of domesticated animals that are displaced or injured. 

In response, two local organizations are seeking donations to fund an international effort to assist Ukrainian pets trapped in harm’s way.

The staff at Gateway Animal Clinic in Cleveland’s Duck Island neighborhood and volunteers at the rescue organization Secondhand Mutts say they were moved by images emerging from Eastern Europe of Ukrainians fleeing with their pets and of animals left to fend for themselves in the wake of Russian missile strikes.

Gateway Chief of Staff Dr. Liz Sobol told FOX 8, “The people carrying these animals, huddling together, trying to escape from really mortal harm from the assault that’s going on, it has been so clear the absolute devotion, love and kindness that these people have for their animals. They are truly part of their families.” 

The sad reality of war is that many animals in Ukraine are displaced or injured and there is a critical need for veterinary care and medical supplies and equipment.

“Ways to sterilize instruments, ways to actually perform surgery, the medications, antibiotics, pain medication,” said Dr. Sobol.

The employees at Gateway recent learned about a campaign launched by a veterinarian in England who has been collecting medical supplies she plans to load into a truck and deliver to Ukraine later this month.

They decided to partner with Secondhand Mutts and seek local donations to fund the campaign to provide care for injured and displaced pets in Ukraine.

“I think it has touched everyone and broken many hearts and that’s why we really wanted to step in and get involved,” said Dr. Sobol.

Here’s how to help.