Rescuing animals from the streets of Kiev
Amid the political turbulence in Ukraine, some people are dedicating their lives to the wellbeing of dogs, cats, birds, bears and other animals in the country. Photographer Thomas Machowicz has been documenting the work of the Kiev Animal Rescue Group (Karg), which provides emergency services for injured animals.
It was founded by Mykhailo Starozhuk, who was asked to rescue a cat from a tree after someone heard he was a climber. After another similar call, he created a website and Facebook page. His group now has many volunteers and provides emergency rescue services for domestic and wild animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We are ordinary people. We do not do something supernatural," says Mykhailo.
"We can just do some things, and we have the necessary equipment. Anyone can be in our shoes, anyone can save an animal. To do it you do not need to be a superman or someone special."
The group is funded by company sponsorships and donations from the people who use its services.
Cat Fair was founded by Maria Nechepa after working for another animal shelter in Kiev. The mission of Car Fair is to find safe homes for stray cats in the city. There are a small number of cats kept at their adoption and event facility, which is designed specifically for cat comfort and wellbeing.
Cat Fair hosts events like cat yoga and cat naps (where one lucky person gets to nap in the same room as the cats) to engage the community and find homes for the animals. It has strict policies about safety which the adopting families must abide by. Cat Fair also arranges foster homes for cats awaiting adoption.
Nika the therapy dog was rescued from the streets. Her owner, Marina, has trained her and she now works with veterans of the ongoing warfare in Ukraine.
All photographs by Thomas Machowicz from his series Sanctuary, documenting animals and people involved in shelters and wildlife sanctuaries around the world.