On the networks, thousands of people have expressed their admiration and support for this noble and loyal rescuer who is willing to sacrifice his life for the animals he has helped for so many years.
Rescuer Refuses To Leave His 450 Animals In Ukraine – “I’d rather lose my life with them”
A rescuer refuses to abandon his animals despite the dangerous situation they are suffering in Ukraine, which has left unfortunate losses at the hands of the actions carried out by Russia.
Since the early hours of this Thursday, Russia began an invasion in Ukraine that has left a balance of 140 dead, hundreds injured and more than a million displaced people. It is a conflict that has left a devastating balance and that has not only affected citizens but also animals.
In an area near Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, the Italia JK2 refuge is located, in which more than 450 animals of various species live, from horses to chickens.
Andrea Cisternino is the founder of the animal shelter that shocked the world with his decision to stay by their side to protect them.
“Now I have to think about saving a shelter and its more than 400 guests who deserve to be protected at all costs, that’s what I will do. I prefer to die than let my companions die alone,” said the rescuer.”
He also wrote on his social networks: “10 minutes ago two military planes and a war helicopter flew over the shelter, Oksana said that one of the planes attacked. 30 kilometers from us there is an airport where another attack was carried out at 5 in the morning.
Despite the serious risk of staying in the area, Andrea is so committed to protecting the animals that he cannot conceive of abandoning them.
The rescuer assures that his priority is to protect the animals of his shelter
Andrea, of Italian nationality, a former fashion photographer moved to Ukraine a decade ago with his wife Vlada Shalutko, to fight against the hunting of stray dogs. Together they opened a shelter in Kiev in which they have taken in thousands of animals that would have had a fatal outcome.
Currently, the shelter has facilities of 20 thousand square meters separated into various areas: one for dogs and cats; another for grazing cows and horses; another for chicken coops, warehouses, kitchens, stables and finally a veterinary clinic.
In 2011, Andrea published the photographic book called Perros Callejeros, with reports starring men and animals. The following year, when she learned about the suffering of street dogs in Ukraine during the European Championship, she made the decision to move to that country to help them.
At that time, he invested the proceeds from his book sales in the construction of the animal shelter. Thus he began his fight in that country to defend dogs, raise awareness among the population and promote the rescue of animals of other species that needed help.
But it was not easy, he had to face the rejection of those who were dedicated to the practice of hunting stray dogs. Two years after the shelter opened, the facility was burned down causing the loss of 71 dogs.
No adversity made him throw in the towel, he built a new shelter, bigger and with better conditions. He called the place KJ2 in tribute to a bear who lost her life at the hands of violence in Tentino in 2017.
Now Andrea faces another great adversity with his animals, but nothing will make him give up, not even the projectiles he has seen flying over the shelter.
The rescuer has taken the foresight to stock up on food and fuel in the hope that the conflict will end while he is safe with the rescued animals.