Fleeing the war with her horses

I didn’t think it would be possible to escape and take my horses with me, but here I am”. Olga is originally from Odessa in Ukraine. She left the country when war broke out. Like many of her compatriots, she fled in a hurry, taking only a few essentials with her: some clothes, a little money and her pets, which she would not have left for anything in the world: a dog, a cat, and seven horses.

 “I have been looking after horses for over 10 years,” she wrote. “Most of them have been through tough experiences and really needed help. I strongly objected to their being exploited. In Odessa I brought together a group of enthusiasts: people would come to me and together we would study their language, learn to understand them and care for them. Many children were enthusiastic and took part in our activities.”

But then the war changed everything.


It happened just 500 meters away from us. A rocket fell 500 meters from the horses’ stables. We had no choice, we had to flee,” she told us.

When Olga arrived in Romania, there was nowhere for her to take refuge and it was a real struggle to find a place that could house both her and her equines. Then she discovered an old outbuilding in the countryside, a safe place to stay.

The early days were the hardest: finding enough food for them and a way to keep warm seemed well-nigh impossible, but this is where our paths crossed. Olga managed to get in touch with the Humane Society International organization, who immediately contacted us, asking for our assistance.

Since then, we have been sending her enough provisions to feed the horses every month, as well as hay and straw to keep them warm.

In December, she was able to arrange for two of the horses to be adopted. “I am so happy about this. The people who adopt my animals have to prove their love to me, they have to be able to create a bond and a relationship with the animals. Only when I see that can I be sure that the horse really has found a new home,” she wrote to us.

Olga dreams of being able to return to Ukraine when the situation has improved, but she has decided that she will start looking for new housing in Romania for herself and her animals in the spring. “My greatest wish is to promote human interaction with horses, to show people what amazing creatures they are and to educate children to be able to take care of them. And if it’s not possible to go back home, I’ll try my luck here in Romania!”