This is an incredibly impressive, committed and wonderful cat rescue organised mainly, on my understanding, by Homewood Trails Animal Rescue (11116 Fairfax Station Rd, Fairfax Station, VA, United States, Virginia). They have a Facebook page and a couple of their Facebook posts are republished below. There is also a video from WUSA9 YouTube.
Note: This is an embedded video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source or the video is turned into a link which would stop it working here. I have no control over this.
They tell the story, but I’ll summarise it. These cats have been rescued from the frontline of the Ukraine war, mostly in southern and eastern Ukraine. Several cats were evacuated from an animal shelter in territory occupied by the Russians, and which was later bombed according to Sue Bell with Homewood Trails. Some of the cats were wandering in villages that had been bombed.
They were being fed by villagers on an ad hoc basis. They were lucky to be alive. They were living outdoors and surviving with the help of residents who were struggling to survive themselves.
You can imagine how complicated it was to rescue 24 cats (I have read in other reports that there were 32 cats) from the frontline of the Ukraine war and airfreight them back to Washington DC.
Sue Bell said that there were 25 steps in terms of protocols, regulations and paperwork to go through and the transportation costs were $12,000.
Some of the cats arrived on Wednesday at Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The remainder arrived on Thursday. They were taken to the Homewood Trails Adoption Center for intake and then to foster homes and the Crumbs & Whiskers: Kitten & Cat Café in Georgetown.
The money was raised By Homewood Trails. As mentioned, it covered the transport costs but there were other costs. It appears that more than the $12,000 was raised because some of the extra money is going to be sent to Ukraine to assist cat rescue there.
Bell said: “Right now, Homeward Trails is the only organization taking cats from this new Ukraine shelter. And so, for every cat that we took from the shelter, that not only gave that cat an opportunity for a home, but it created a space in that shelter for the team to go out there and bring more cats in.”
She wants to take in more cats from Ukraine. To take them off the war-torn streets and to give them a life in America. The cats are spayed and neutered, and they will be micro-chipped and vaccinated. They all have their own personalities.
One of them is an interesting looking female. She looks like a black tortoiseshell cat. She has tiny ears and deformed feet. She looks incredibly cute, and they’ve named her ‘Gizmo’. Bell said that “she is the cutest, most personable cat. She sits up like a human; she kind of sits on her butt and puts her feet out”.
I have immense admiration for the volunteers and the paid employees who organise these highly complicated rescues. There is a mountain to climb to get them out of a war zone into the calm and reassurance of a loving foster home and then to a forever home.
Below are some more rescue articles.