Those of you who have been with the Harmony Fund for a long time know that we love to focus on the positive. And while today’s newsletter explains some of the more troubling challenges in front of us, we hope you will remember that these situations would be much worse without all the love and care you have been providing. While we can’t solve every problem for the animals of this world, we can do something – anything – to help these rescuers.
This is Lyudmila Matviychuk. She lives in Ukraine. On May 21st, her son Yulian died in battle at the age of 33-years-old while trying to protect his country from invading forces that have punched holes in Ukraine for more than a year and a half. (All young men were called into military service when the war began.) Mother and son shared a love of animals, and now she carries the torch alone, pushing through her grief to feed more than 40 homeless cats each day. She is worried about the coming winter and of how she’ll find enough food for the animals who depend on her alone.
This Guadalajara shelter is in hot water. They continually run out of food and the most basic forms of care. We’re seeing this kind of poverty in so many shelters now, and our supporters are often the difference between a meal or no food at all for the day. We sent them food on Sunday and would like to send more over the weekend.
Nizami and Nermin Ramazanov run a breathtaking mission to help injured, abandoned, and abused animals. They contend with more in a week than most of us could handle in a lifetime. These are legendary heroes, traveling long distances to reach a veterinarian with the injured and sick animals they lift off the ground. They need help to buy food for all the survivors they care for. They cook large pots on an outdoor fire and feed the animals in their shelter and an untold number of homeless animals each day. With winter coming, we are determined to get them a steady food supply.
“Today is the second day and all the dogs have not eaten a meal,” Hoda Mklad said last week. “All dogs shared very small scraps of bread. Everyone watched how the dogs licked the bread crumbs. The situation has become worse than you all imagined. There is no food and the freezer is empty.”
Harmony Fund has been sponsoring the rent and workers’ wages for a long time, but we have to start providing more funds for food on a monthly basis. As you can see, the dogs need much more food and the only thing that has stood in the way of us sending more is the limits of our bank account.
Most heroes in this world go unnamed. In Ukraine, it’s often the oldest generations who have been left to care for the animals who became homeless because of war. Nataliya Oskar has made it her mission to distribute dry and canned food to seniors like this one who have taken in large numbers of dogs and cats who lost their families. These volunteers typically have no income and are dependent on the kindness of outsiders for food. We have helped with this mission in the past and this week we hope to send funds for a winter food supply.
Stephanie Connor and her daughter Jordan run this rescue program like their lives depend on it, and in a way they do. If we can’t find a way to sustain the precious shelter known as Fetcher Dog and its life-saving rescue program in Bosnia, Stephanie doesn’t think she’ll survive the heartbreak. Last month, Harmony Fund sent an 11th hour grant to safeguard all the dogs in this rescue group’s Bosnian network as no funds had been paid for the dogs and therefore no food was available to keep them alive. The dogs stay in paid pensions (boarding centers in Bosnia) and were being threatened with being released onto the street if the bills weren’t paid. And now, with winter so close that we can feel it’s icy breath on the back of our necks, they greatly need our help.
Husband and wife team, Zoran and Danka Kantar run a lovely shelter for more than 100 cats and dogs. Zoran recently retired to help run the shelter full-time as it became too much for Danka to do alone. Both have fairly serious health issues, and they count on Harmony Fund exclusively not only to feed the animals in their shelter, but to deliver meals to homeless animals in their community.
The kind of hunger we see for animals in Venezuela is among the worst in the world. Hyperinflation, mass unemployment and poverty create the perfect storm. We have been working with a number of rescue organizations here to try to provide food and Spay/Neuter consistently. We watch as a volunteer named Doris lays down bowls of food and dozens of dogs and cats run toward her. We have started to see improvement in the health of dogs and cats regularly receiving food food through Harmony Fund and we need your help to keep them fed this winter. Being cold is hard, but being hungry and cold is really too much for any soul to endure.
Many of you will remember when we swept in to help Gorica Angelkovska’s Bela Shelter in Drazevac last year. Gorica was feeling weak and terrified to spend another winter alone running her shelter without help as she’d fallen and hurt herself badly on the icy ground. Shortly after we intervened, Gorica was diagnosed with cancer and is still undergoing treatment. It’s a full year later now, and all of you are the barrier between these animals and a disastrous situation. Your monthly donations help us to pay for workers who feed and care for all dogs and cats daily. Together, we prevent true hunger here.
We’ve been offering bits of aid to Elena Myropolets who has created a darling animal shelter and is caring for dozens of homeless animals on the street each day. Her shelter is still on our “waiting list” for expansion so that more animals can come into safety before winter. And while we wait for that aid to materialize, we would be grateful to send funds for food this weekend.