As war rages in the Ukraine, horse owners around the world have asked how they can help Ukranian horses and their owners. There have been heart breaking posts on Facebook as families flee the devastation of war.
Recently we heard from a friend in Ukraine, that several of the people that own horses are walking them to the forests and letting them go. The best chance they can give them to survive is the freedom to make their own choices, instead of waiting for a family who’s not there to give them food and water.River Lane Ranch
Many people are asking how they can best help to support the owners and their horses.
Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation
The new Belgian-registered Ukrainian Equestrian Federation Charity Foundation, led by the federation’s secretary-general Mykhaylo Parkhomchuk estimates that there are more than 100,000 horses in Ukraine, which have no opportunity seek safety and which may have no shelter or car. The Foundation’s goal are to provide needs-based assistance on the ground, including the relocation of horses, and gathering and distributing of goods for equestrians and horses both in the Ukraine and in their temporary locations.
As of March 11th, the organization has received more than 4500€ ($4900) in donations. These funds will be taken immediately into use as the first shipment reaches the logistics point near Lviv in Ukraine.
The number of people and organizations who have contacted us, offering help, has reached over 900. Besides Europe but there are also many offering help from the United States and Canada, even from Mexico and Singapore.
There are close to 200 contacts offering help with transport from border. There are offers for stabling places to over 1000 horses currently, many can also accommodate accompanying people and their families. Around 130 contacts have offered employment opportunities. Many contacts represent also groups or organizations or are representatives who can coordinate further with local communities.
The Foundation is also working to find transporters are being sought to help evacuate horses out of Ukraine following the Russian invasion, with horse owners in more than 25 locations across the country asking for help.
The Ukrainian Horse Society and Ukrainian Horse Union are seeking medium-sized vehicles without living quarters that can take up to five horses, with the ability to attach a two-horse trailer. The road blocks are making it difficult for larger vehicles to navigate.
“We are looking for ways to deliver a horse transport capable vehicle to Poland/Ukrainian border within next few days and donate it to be used as around-the-clock transportation to bring horses to safety. Please write email@example.com with the subject ‘Donate vehicle’ if you are able to do so.”
The Foundation for the Horse
The Foundation (which is the AAEP’s charitable arm) will be donating all disaster gifts received in March 2022 to trusted veterinary and equine organizations it identifies in Europe, providing emergency relief to horses and animals in impacted areas with the capabilities to provide care on the ground.
Happening Now: Veterinary support for displaced horses and animals from Ukraine
We have made inquiries with the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) to see whether coordinated efforts are being planned to provide veterinary support for animals that are being brought across the Ukrainian border into neighboring EU countries and will publish further details if and when available. In the meantime, we are accepting gifts as well as offering up information on other international groups providing aid. These organizations, including the Vets for Ukraine and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, have published helpful information for people fleeing Ukraine with their animals and lists of organizations that are raising funds to support those both in and around Ukraine who are working to protect animals caught up in the conflict. Please note these organizations are not “Foundation-endorsed.” However, many are generally viewed as credible organizations by the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), that are poised to provide immediate help.
Paul Schockemöhle Foundation
Paul Schockemöhle’s Lewitz Stud in Northern Germany is probably best known for being the biggest warmblood breeding stable in the world. But in the past few weeks, the Lewitz Stud team has taken on a new mission: helping Ukrainians flee the war. The team has evacuated two busloads of Ukranian women and childen to Neustadt-Glewe, Germany. They are also collecting donations for Ukrainians and hired a logistics company to get them from Germany to the Ukrainian border where the army can distribute supplies.
“We rented a hotel for these women,” Hauser said. “We picked them up, and it was unbelievable. They didn’t even have a suitcase, just a bag, nothing else. Some of them were 65 years old with two or three children from other people who had to stay in Ukraine.”Lewitz Stud training center manager Dirk Hauser
The project is being paid for by the Paul Schockemöhle Foundation, which Schockemöhle created about 3 ½ years ago. The foundation has spent about 50,000 euros (roughly $55,000) annually to help poor and homeless people in the region where Lewitz Stud is located.
And then there are the private individuals who have offered help. You can find many offers of help on the Facebook Group Help Ukranian Horses.
It is heartwarming to see how many people are willing step in and help. Please think about these horses when you see your horses, give thanks that they are safe, and consider sending a donation to help the horses of Ukraine find safety.