When the war broke OUT …
After Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, 2022, Breaking the Chains Founder, Tom and his close friend Steve drove a campervan from Bulgaria to Ukraine with no plan, but a goal of saving as many animals as possible. They knew their extensive skills and experience acquired while serving in the military could be of use in such an environment. Little did they know their operation was going to quickly expand, and what started as a two-man crew extracting animals from conflict areas, quickly grew into a full-scale operation involving over 100 ground crew members and volunteers.
During their time in Ukraine, Tom and his team have accomplished many tasks, including BTC has extracted domesticated and exotic animals across the country from dangerous conflict areas. They have managed to rescue more than 5,500 animals including dogs, cats, horses, foxes, birds, ferrets, goats, pigs, donkeys, a wolf, Europe’s largest bear, and a pride of nine lions – the largest big cat extraction from an active warzone.
Through their own funds and generous donations from the public and organisations, BTC has provided more than 1,000 tons of food and medical supplies to villages and animal shelters and rescues that are the most in need.
When Tom first arrived in Ukraine, he was able to assist with transporting animals he rescued to safe shelters within Ukraine or in bordering countries. As time went by, Ukrainian shelters began to fill and Tom had to make a decision when the authorities changed the laws so animals were no longer able to pass through the borders unless accompanied by their owners.
Rather than packing up, knowing that there was no longer space for these terrified and injured animals, Tom searched and found a place far from the hostile areas and began to build his own shelter. Not only that, but Tom wanted to create a fully functioning vet clinic to provide medical treatment for the injured animals that he extracted.
With the help of volunteers and local Ukrainian workers, BTC is in the process of accomplishing this monumental task and will soon be able to provide a home to 300 animals.
If you would like to help us achieve completing our shelter and provide a home to these animals, you can donate to our efforts.