Friends are not betrayed or abandoned. Even if they are animals. Even if they are homeless animals. Especially if they are homeless animals. Even during the war.
The morning at the Dityatky checkpoint began with a tumultuous activity – the team of the Sirius animal shelter consisting of Alexandra Mezinova, Maxim Gonyukov, Pavel Burkatsky, Tatiana Safonova, even before entering the exclusion zone, has already interviewed the checkpoint staff about local dogs.
They asked about everything: quantity, condition, availability of food, water, etc.
Volunteers left the necessary amount of food at the checkpoint together with the attendants of the “COTIZ”.
On the way to Chernobyl, near Zalissya, the volunteers were met by the already famous fox, the star of Chernobyl.
Having received his share, he generously released the people.
Oleksandra Mezinova, the founder and head of the shelter, has been dealing with animal issues for more than twenty years:
“We often come to the exclusion zone, but this is the first visit since the occupation,” says Oleksandra.
Then everything resembles operational measures, or a search operation: we communicate with local volunteers, police, military, get information about the presence and number of animals, leave food and go on a search.
“We are very helped by local volunteers who are employees of the exclusion zone,” says Oleksandra.
“They are our eyes and hands in the exclusion zone. They feed dogs and cats, monitor their condition, we keep records of activities during the visit and plan the next ones. “
Then everything happens according to the scheme: search, inspection, analysis of the condition, the necessary procedures.
During the visit to the area, volunteers carry out antiparasitic treatment, according to the protocol make a calendar of vaccinations, identify “heavy” animals, for which they organize professional veterinary treatment, sterilize, feed. There is enough work.
“Our shelter was also under occupation. We have 3300 animals. It was very difficult and scary, but we survived, persevered and are recovering. We don’t forget our subordinates from the zone either”
Sirius specialists work not only in Chernobyl, their activities cover the entire exclusion zone. Where it is impossible to reach, food is delivered by local workers. They themselves form the logistics chains, and give us information about the condition of the animals and the list of necessary activities in the city. By the way, work is underway to create an information exchange program between organizations caring for animals in the exclusion zone to avoid duplication of work and make animal visits as effective as possible.
The benefactors also visited the police. They asked about the needs, handed over food, processing equipment, available ammunition, and agreed on vaccinations.
The day passes quickly. Everyone is exhausted.
They managed to do almost everything they planned, and Oleksandra is already planning her next visit.
The war does not spare anyone and, unfortunately, there are losses among our animals as well.
Extreme situations reveal the essence of a person very well. And the war, determined – who is who. Some left their pets alone in apartments, or drove them out into the street, and some carried them safely to the border for miles, because they are friends, and friends are not betrayed or abandoned. Even during the war. Everyone takes their own test of humanity.
Photos from the State Enterprise “COTIZ”, shelter “Sirius”