Another hand successfully lend in support of animals in Ukraine. Cooperating with our member league United for Ukraine, this time we reached the dog shelter “Loyal Friend” in Boyarka.

A special gift for the 140 dogs hosted at the shelter and some cats looked after by volunteers. Our load of aid included: 400 kgs of dry food, wet food for cats, vitamins, worming tablets, some brand new cages, anti-flea drops, ear and eye spray and drops.

There are only four people who work with this big doggie banda, and just one woman who manages the shelter. Her name is Ludmila Ivanivna Nakonechna, and this year she’s going to be 70 years old. Despite being a person of age, she is active and balanced. She apologized for the husky voice during the interview. “I have caught a cold “-she said, but as soon as I asked her about the dogs, she immediately forgot about her illness and told me about her shelter, its problems and routines, hopes and plans for the future.

How is the shelter living now? How is it organized?

  • We have 120 adult dogs and 20 puppies. The dogs live in 70 enclosures, each of them is divided into a few compartments. Each dog has its own compartment with a cabin. We have four people working in the shelter-they don’t work alone, as it might be dangerous, and it’s too hard work for one person. So there are two people in a shift. In the morning we give dogs dry food for breakfast. It is very time and labor saving. The dogs need 15 kilos of food for breakfast. Each worker takes a bucket filled with food and goes down the isle, feeding dogs in every enclosure. A small dog gets a handful of food, bigger animals need 2 or 3. At about 3 pm we cook dinner. Usually it is cereal with meat. We buy cereal, but meat is expensive. Thanks to kind people we get meat for free-from shops, supermarkets, volunteers. Sometimes it’s just a little, but we are thankful for this. The dogs always have clean bowls and fresh water. It’s hot now, so we even made a small pool for them to cool down. We care for our dogs, and are happy when they find loving new owners. I often go to the market, where I talk with people, asking them to adopt dogs, give my phone number, invite to come to us. It’s hard for me to walk long distances, so I have to take a taxi to get there. But it’s the work that should be done.

What problems does the shelter have?

  • Of course diseases. Recently we adopted a group of 9 puppies who caught enteritis. Someone has left them outside the city, left to die, but we couldn’t let them die. Treating 9 pups in the veterinary clinic costs 8 thousand hrivnas every day (200 euros). And if we don’t treat them, they will die. Every day we take these nine pups to the clinic for procedures and injections. That’s a lot of money, and we wouldn’t be able to afford it if we didn’t receive donations. My bank card is on Facebook since the shelter was founded. Now I owe the bank 13 thousand hrivnas (315 euros), sometimes I am in bigger debt (laughs).

How long has the shelter been working?

  • For 9 years, next year we will have an anniversary. In 2014 we started working as a non-registered shelter. Local authorities allowed us to occupy the location, and we slowly started building enclosures, as long as getting more dogs. In December 2021 we finally got registered. Local government is not very interested in us. I have asked them for sponsoring the salary for people working in the shelter. We need more people, as the number of dogs is constantly increasing. We need a nurse, who can make injections and procedures in the shelter, we will therefore cut on expenses on vet’s visits. But to employ more people we need to pay them. I pay my workers now from my own money. My son supports me, as I support them. If he didn’t help me, I wouldn’t have an opportunity to run a shelter and help animals.

Why are you doing this?

  • I am a retired history teacher, I used to work in schools all my life. The shelter is an outcome of my personal loss-I had a shepherd dog, and she died after labor. I blame myself for this, after giving birth to 5 pups she had a still fetus remaining inside the womb. If I had taken her to the vet and made ultrasound screening, we would have saved her. But I didn’t, and that’s why I lost her. Helping dogs now is a way to pay the debt to my dog, to all dogs. I care for the future of my dogs that find homes, I take people’s phone numbers and check how the dogs are doing in families. We do our best to treat them well-we cure them, feed them, nurse them.

What are you going to do in the near future?

  • We are going to change the metal net on enclosures. Old net is torn in many places, because dogs are dogs, we fill holes with wood, cloth, stones, but it doesn’t work anymore. Also we are going to make a separate space for dogs with infectious diseases-one kind man promised to give us a carriage, that can be used this way. We are thankful to everyone who helps us, as every donator, everyone who gives something or helps help rescue more animal lives.




Write as note“Emergency Ukraine” and add the exact amount

Account Holder:
OIPA – Organizzazione Internazionale Protezione Animali

Bank details:
IBAN: IT93I0306909620100000002326​

Bank’s Name and Address:
Banca Popolare Commercio e Industria
VIA BOCCHETTO, 13 – 20123 Milan – Italy