Dmytro Revniuk, founder of the NGO “ZooPatrol”
At the beginning of the full-scale war, I was in Kyiv. People began to leave en masse, leaving their animals at home, because they thought that in a few days everything would be fine and they would return. But it didn’t happen like that.
The story of “ZooPatrol” actually began by accident. The neighbor asked to break down the door to save her dog. So he did. This inspired me to make a post on the Internet. Like, if your animals are locked up – call.
The ad “flipped” with incredible speed. 17 thousand people reposted, more than 700 applications were received. I understood that this was too much work, so I wrote to my friends who are filmmakers and asked for help.
I’ve been shooting commercials for 13 years, I have my own production company, so my friends are mostly colleagues. That is, we are not veterinarians, not rescuers. We are creative people who, in addition to art, share a love for animals and a desire to help.
At first, our team consisted of about 80 volunteers. Every evening we called and analyzed the applications. We found 23 machines, bought tools.
It was different. We broke down doors in a barbaric way, so people often kicked them out because they thought we were looting. Later they started making holes in the walls.
Once there were three animals locked up in the house at once. We made those holes, and one grandfather walked through the floors all day, just feeding them by the bottle. He took a pellet of fodder and blew it into the hole so that it fell near the animal.
We fulfilled all applications in a month. I don’t know of a single case in Kyiv where a locked-up animal died of hunger, for example. We understood that our work has meaning, so I decided to register the public organization “ZooPatrol”.
People supported us a lot with donations. Yes, with joint efforts we managed to collect 52 thousand dollars almost immediately. With these funds, a modern shelter in Irpen was built for rescued animals. Currently, there are 600 animals in it.
Our “ZooPatrol” also went to temporarily occupied territories at that time – to Bucha and Gostomel. There we gave out food free of charge, because all the shops were closed, and together with the veterinarians we helped the injured animals. There were a lot of them, so they decided to open a clinic.
They rented premises, found sponsors, purchased modern equipment and started working. Now we have our own call center – two hotlines. As of now, we have processed almost 4,000 applications.
Once a month we go to hot spots. They were in Bakhmut, Liman. When Kherson was flooded, about 150 animals were taken away. Therefore, there were many difficult cases during the entire period. The team came under fire more than once. There was also a case when the occupiers detonated a dog. His spine was broken, and stretch marks were left on his legs.
The scale of what “ZooPatrol” has done is noticeable, and it pleases. I am proud of my team. Perhaps this proves that our strength is in unity. Only together we will defeat the enemy and cope with everything.
The story of the founder of the NGO “ZooPatrol” can also be viewed in the video.