Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, many individuals have gone to tremendous efforts to protect and care for animals that have been caught in the crossfire there. Unsung heroes have come up to help in times of need all around Ukraine, whether it be by putting their lives in danger in order to physically take their pets with them as they fled for safety or by remaining behind in order to care for the animals whose owners have passed away.
It has been the same for Asya Serpinska, who is 77 years old and took the painful choice to put her own life in danger for the sake of her animal sanctuary in Hostomel, which is located around 34 kilometers north of Kyiv. When the invasion first started, Serpinska’s shelter housed over 600 canine and more than 100 feline residents.
She took in a number of zoo animals that had been left behind when people started to escape the area. While Russian troops continued to make their way forward, eventually surrounding the town on all sides in an effort to seize control of it, Serpinska remained steadfast in her position.
The fearless lady ran to the shelter as soon as she noticed the enemy arriving and opened the fences so that the defenseless animals wouldn’t be trapped within. Even as the area was being bombed, she and a few other dedicated staff remained to care for the patients.
A Ukrainian lady named Asya Serpinska, who is 77 years old, took great personal danger in order to remain behind and care for more than 700 animals at her animal rescue.
“The first idea that entered my mind was that I needed to hurry to the shelter,” Serpinska remembers saying. “It was the only logical thing to do.” “I was aware that I was about to go to war. My family and friends were present, and so were my pets.
After seeing a tiny private zoo she owned burn to the ground, Serpinska took over control of another facility and added it to her list of responsibilities, as if that weren’t enough. Its former proprietors had absconded out of concern for their own safety and because they did not know how to safeguard both themselves and the animals they had been housing.
Unfortunately for the sad animals, their isolation rendered them incapable of surviving on their own. When they arrived, Serpinska and her colleagues were faced with the challenge of battling their way through the smoke to rescue as many animals as they could.
There were a lot of strange species amid the native flora and fauna, such as turtles and peacocks, for example. One lion, however, was able to escape the flames and was saved by the people who were working to put out the fire.
The first thing that sprang into my head was that I needed to go to the shelter as quickly as possible.
“For five weeks, we would travel there amid shelling and gunshots to feed the lion, since it had been kept in a cage and we didn’t have the keys,” Serpinska recounts. “We had no way to get the lion out of its confinement.”
She and her crew were in danger because Russian forces had buried a land mine near the lion’s cage; yet, she sought to communicate with the Russian soldiers so that the innocent animal would not be harmed. The lion was successful in avoiding loss despite the fact that the military went ahead and exploded the mine in spite of her protests.
Additionally, Serpinska assumed control of the operations of a little private zoo.
Many times, Russian troops showed up at the refuge, and one of them even attempted to kill a lion that the woman had rescued from a zoo.
On another occasion, Russian forces showed up at the shelter and proceeded to lock Serpinska and her crew inside of a room, warning them that a land mine had been put on the door and that if they opened it, it would be the end for everyone within. As soon as they were freed, they quickly learned that the danger had been fake to intimidate them into complying with the demands made of them.
However, it did not help to ease their concern or their anguish in any way. During the siege of the town, Serpinska and her unit were involved in a number of confrontations with Russian forces that were both hazardous and possibly lethal. One of these interactions resulted in the loss of Serpinska’s much-loved dog, Gina, which was a sad tragedy.
They continued even though they were in a lot of pain and anxiety. Now that Ukrainian control has been reestablished in Hostomel, Serpinska is working to repair the damage to her home so that she may continue to live there as the town recovers from the conflict.
“The most essential thing is to take responsibility for your actions,” she adds. “In order to save humanity, save animals.”
In spite of the terrible things that have happened to them, the animals look to be happy and healthy.
A significant portion of the city has been rendered barren as a result of the destruction or burning of many of the town’s structures. On the other side, the strong elderly lady, who is 77 years old, has a positive outlook on the years to come.
Serspinska has already begun soliciting monetary contributions in order to keep the animal shelter operational, and she is in the process of finding new homes for the creatures that she has worked so diligently to preserve while the town begins to come back to life. In spite of the overwhelming obstacles, she was able to make it through to the other side while doing all in her power to provide a secure and loving home for hapless creatures.
Surprisingly, despite the terrible things that have happened to them, the animals at the shelter look to be happy and healthy. Additionally, this is the most essential component in Serpinska’s eyes.
It makes no difference whether you safeguard the welfare of children, humans, animals, or the natural world. “The most essential thing is to take responsibility for your actions,” she adds. “In order to save humanity, save animals.”
We have high hopes that she and the whole country of Ukraine will soon be able to lead peaceful lives.