Helping animals in Ukraine: Galaxy Vets Foundation’s year in review


How Galaxy Vets worked to alleviate the animal welfare crisis in Ukraine

Content submitted by Galaxy Vets, a dvm360® Strategic Alliance Partner

The war in Ukraine caused a massive animal welfare crisis and limited access to veterinary care for millions of pets. Some people lost their jobs or were displaced and couldn't afford a veterinary visit. Many pets were abandoned as their owners fled their homes or were killed. Rescue volunteers found injured and shell-shocked animals on the street needing urgent veterinary advice about first aid, emergency care, and treatment.

Galaxy Vets Foundation is a 501(c)(3) approved non-profit arm of Galaxy Vets, an employee-owned veterinary healthcare system in the U.S. Its mission is to improve access to care for underserved communities, reduce economic euthanasia, and provide animal disaster and humanitarian response solutions.

Its first initiative, Animal Help Ukraine, was launched in Spring 2022 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The foundation is raising funds and collecting and delivering supplies to animal shelters and organizations in need, as well as providing pet owners free access to professional veterinary care through its telehealth platform.

Over this year, Galaxy Vets Foundation’s donors helped feed and treat hundreds of animals in shelters, covered spay/neuter procedures for homeless pets, bought food for military service dogs, delivered an ultrasound sensor for the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, and provided financial help to Oleksiy Prytula, a Ukrainian veterinarian who lost both legs while defending Ukraine.

Two-hundred and seventy-five veterinarians and technicians/nurses from the U.S. and all over the world joined to volunteer in delivering virtual care; they spent 1,350 hours online and responded to over 20,000 requests from pet owners.

Galaxy Vets Foundation also joined Vet Help Ukraine, an international collaboration aimed at providing mental health support for the Ukrainian veterinary community. The project was initiated by Dr. Natalia Ignatenko and Dr. Petra Agthe who provides professional coaching, mentoring and mindfulness sessions in exchange for donations to this initiative.

“Russia’s terrorist attacks are causing a real ecocide in Ukraine,” said Dr. Andrew Ciccolini, Director of the Galaxy Vets Foundation. “According to Ukrainian government data, 6 million domestic animals and 50,000 dolphins in the Black Sea died. Hundreds of thousands or even millions of wild animals are under threat. The number of companion animals who were killed or whose owners were forced to flee their homes has not been assessed but it's likely millions. Animals and pet owners in Ukraine need our support.”

Below are some ways you can help.


Your donations will help provide food, medicines, veterinary care, and equipment and supplies for animals in and around the area affected by the war in Ukraine.

Volunteer telehealth services

Galaxy Vets Foundation is looking for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/nurses to provide virtual care to Ukrainian pet owners. They will have support from VetCT – a teleconsulting service staffed by experienced specialists. Volunteers can pick up shifts of any length. Veterinary students are also encouraged to join and work under supervision of the Foundation’s DVM team.

Donate or sign up to volunteer here:

Buy swag

Galaxy Vets Foundation’s store features stylish doggie bandanas and pet tags as well as designer outfits for their humans – T-shirts, hoodies, hats, and other apparel. Once in a while, limited collections of handmade souvenirs are added – from Ukraine, with love. All the proceeds are directed towards helping animals in Ukraine. Shop now:

Shop via ShopRaise app

ShopRaise is an easy way to make philanthropy part of your online purchases. From groceries and apparel to technology and travel – a percentage of almost everything you buy goes to support the Galaxy Vets Foundation. Download the ShopRaise mobile or desktop app here: Don’t forget to add Galaxy Vets Foundation as your supporting organization!

Buy Grounds & Hounds coffee

Grounds and Hounds is a great organization that supports animal rescue and welfare groups. Shop using this link and 10% of every purchase will be donated to the Galaxy Vets Foundation: Treat yourself to an amazing coffee experience while supporting a good cause!

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