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Rescuer Refuses To Leave His 450 Animals In Ukraine – “I’d rather lose my life with them”

 Despite the dangerous situation in which his animals are trapped in Ukraine, where Russia’s actions have resulted in tragic losses, a rescuer refuses to abandon his animals.

Russia has been invading Ukraine since the early hours of Thursday, killing 140 people, injuring hundreds, and displacing over a million people. It’s a conflict that’s wreaked havoc on the environment, affecting not only people but animals as well.

The Italia JK2 refuge, which houses over 450 animals of various species ranging from horses to chickens, is located near Kiev, Ukraine’s capital.

Andrea Cisternino is the founder of the animal shelter who stunned the world by remaining 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.” “I’d rather die than leave my friends to die alone,” the rescuer explained. ”

“Two military planes and a war helicopter flew over the shelter 10 minutes ago, Oksana said one of the planes attacked,” he wrote on social media. Another attack was carried out at 5 a.m. at an airport 30 kilometers away from us.

Andrea is so committed to protecting the animals that he cannot imagine abandoning them, despite the serious risks of remaining in the area.

The rescuer assures that his priority is to protect the animals of his shelter

Andrea, an Italian national who worked as a fashion photographer, and his wife Vlada Shalutko moved to Ukraine a decade ago to fight stray dog hunting. They collaborated to open a shelter in Kiev, where thousands of animals would have died otherwise.

The shelter currently has 20 thousand square meters of space divided into several areas: one for dogs and cats, another for grazing cows and horses, yet another for chicken coops, warehouses, kitchens, stables, and finally a veterinary clinic.

Andrea released Perros Callejeros, a photographic book featuring men and animals, in 2011. She decided to move to Ukraine the following year after hearing about the suffering of street dogs in Ukraine during the European Championship.

He used the proceeds from the sale of his books to build the animal shelter at the time. As a result, he began his campaign in that country to defend dogs, raise public awareness, and encourage the rescue of other animals in need.

But it wasn’t easy; he had to deal with those who were committed to the practice of hunting stray dogs. The facility burned down two years after it first opened, killing 71 dogs.

“No one came to help us, not even the firefighters,” Andrea recalled. “We managed to get as many dogs out as we could until the fire became uncontrollable.”

He didn’t give up because of adversity; instead, he built a new shelter that was bigger and better. In honor of a bear who was killed by violence in Tentino in 2017, he named the location KJ2.

Andrea is now facing yet another major challenge with his animals, but nothing, not even the projectiles he has seen flying over the shelter, will deter him.

The rescuer has stocked up on food and fuel in the hopes of ending the conflict while he is safe with the rescued animals.

Thousands of people have expressed their admiration and support for this brave and dedicated rescuer who is willing to lay down his life for the animals he has aided for so many years on social media.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. https://www.ansa.it/english/news/general_news/2022/03/04/ukraine-missing-animal-rescue-man-says-staying-put_f3b5fcd6-f1e2-48d0-bdf3-9ab336c69f8f.html?fbclid=IwAR3h_VA9PTH3Sl1dGZtUVMOifUA2dsoTXjoE7tLXVjiXqfRf9sAEqvrhfvo The owner of Italia Animal Rescue, Andrea Cisternino, who was feared to be missing after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has posted on Facebook that he is safe. But for the time being, he "will be going nowhere." Cisternino, who has over 75,000 followers on social media, cares for over 400 rescued animals outside of the Ukraine capital, Kyiv.
    "I will die here for my animals… I have to think about saving an animal refuge and its 400 guests who deserve to be protected at any cost," he posted on Facebook.
    His posts also include numerous photos and videos of Russian troop planes flying over his sanctuary.
    Despite power outages and limited communication, Cisternino and his followers try to post regular updates on the animals' safety. He told Euronews that he "did not expect this would happen. For the first time in his life he discovered the smell of gunpowder." Originally a fashion photographer from Italy, Cisternino married a Ukrainian woman and moved to the countryside near the capital. He has dedicated his life to "speaking up for those who have no voice," he posted on Instagram.
    "They're shooting, unfortunately this is the situation. This is a sudden and incomprehensible war," he told Euronews. (ANSA).

  2. UPDATE ANDREA CISTERNINO SHELTER ITALY 12.30 AM 4.3
    Anna Raimondi . I just spoke to Andrea's wife, who managed to get in touch with the Italian ambassador in Kiev. It will help her move in a way that she can r, while as for Andrea Cisternino , the ambassador has absolutely agreed with Andrea's decision to NOT MOVE out of the shelter as the area where she is located is not in the center of the fights, it's uncircumcised and much more protected if he stays there .
    Warning again to those who continue to write posts to evacuate Andrea's animals, which, at the moment, IS NOT ANDREA'S WILL and is not even advised.
    Come on Andrea, we're all thinking of you

  3. https://www.facebook.com/andrea.cisternino.37 some of it is in English get a google translate HELP THIS WAY Donations can be made through the following methods:
    – Personal Bank Transfer for Refuge;
    – PayPal;
    – Recharge prepaid card;
    – Money gram or western union
    =======================
    ✅ ITALIAN ACCOUNT BONIFIC BANK:
    – Beneficiary: ANDREA CISTERNINO
    – IBAN Code: IT02O0103001661000001396774 (attention: after 2 there is an O of Otranto, not a zero! )
    – Siena Easter Mount Bank
    Intended account to Andrea Cisternino
    – Cod. BIC/SWIFT : PASCITM1645 (only for shipping outside Italy! )
    – Causale: CHARITABLE DONATION TO HELP THE ITALY SHELTER
    ❌Attention: if you copy and paste the IBAN code check that all the numbers are there.
    =====================
    ✅ RECHARGE MPS CARD
    – Intestinal: Andrea Cisternino
    – Code IBAN: IT9200103001661PREP96645998
    =====================
    ✅ PAYPAL
    – Headmaster: Riccardo Laganà (collaborator in Italy of Andrea)
    – Address: unitiperloro@gmail.com
    ======================
    ✅ MONEYGRAM or WESTERN UNION:
    – Andrea Cisternino Kiev Ukraine

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