MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In and around Ukraine’s capital, rescue workers clear the rubble, searching for signs of life, and hidden in destroyed homes, four-legged family members that were left behind.
A dog is trapped inside a home in Irpin, frightened by the sounds of war.READ MORE: Commissioners Approve $2 Million Insurance Settlement In Surfside Condo Collapse
“We are responsible for them. They are like small children who nobody can help them.”
Anastasiia Trishkina, 25, lives in Kyiv. She shares her home with her fur-daughter, Jessica.
“Jess, say hi. She’s relaxing,” said Trishkina.
Instead of fleeing shortly after the Russian invasion began, the two stayed.
“A lot of animals are on the street. If all of us leave, nobody will help them,” she added.
Trishkina leads a team effort to help families reunite with their lost pets or find new homes for the ones’ left behind.
She uses an Instagram page, @Dogs_Adopt_Kyiv, and has helped more than 100 animals.
Sometimes they are too late, like in Irpin, when they came across a group of dead birds.
In another case, just in time, they found a dog that had been beaten by a Russian soldier’s gun.
“People stopped the bleeding. When we came, we took him to a hospital, and he survived,” she added.READ MORE: Potential Summer Surge Has Health Experts Urging Vulnerable People To Get 2nd COVID Booster
Her team’s daily commitment to saving helpless animals keeps her mind off the death and destruction surrounding her.
“I don’t have a second to stop and think I’m going to die.”
But there have been close calls.
Her friend was nearly shot at by a Russian sniper, attempting to rescue an animal.
“People gave us notes where they locked their animals. We go into the town at every address. One day he was doing this a sniper shot at him. Lucky, it hit the glass and not him. Risks are very high.”
Another close call for Trishkina came while working at her friends’ animal shelter.
Nearby, Russian forces attacked one day, and they could hear and feel the bombing.
“Many people fell down and I covered my dog… sorry (crying). It’s an emotional topic.”
Still, they stay committed to their calling.
“Very emotional and hard after they hit one building. You’re sure that the second building will be yours. Hard emotionally,” said Trishkina.MORE NEWS: Ryder Trauma Center’s Medical Director Visits Ukraine To Train Physicians Dealing With Collateral Damage Of Russian Invasion
“I’m thankful for the dogs. They are in my life because with help from them, I can forget about the situation that’s happening now.”