Dog still traumatised by Russian bombs after fleeing with family to UK
A family is seeking help for their pet dog who suffers from intense trauma after surviving the Russian bombing of Kyiv.
Ressi the dog’s owner, Lana Sushko, 47, says she won’t leave the house even to use the toilet, and reacts very badly to the sound of loud noises, such as fireworks and car engines.
Lana and Ressi both experienced Russia’s bombing of the Ukrainian capital on the first night of the war.
Lana said: ‘The military airport nearby was bombarded on the very first night of the war. I was walking Ressi at 5am when we heard the bombings. They break the sound barrier with this incredibly loud bang and whistle.
‘By 6am we were all huddled in the bathroom, I screamed at my daughter and son to get in there where it was safest.
‘The next day I walked Ressi at 10am. There was a loud explosion all of a sudden, probably from the military airport.
‘She pulled and I fell over, letting her go as she ran away. Two men were walking towards us 100 metres away. I asked her to come back as she ran towards them and then one of them took out a gun.
‘I was scared to death that he would kill her, but he shot up straight into the air. She whined and turned around and ran straight to me. I dragged her all the way home.’
That same day Lana moved her family out of the country and across Europe.
Only one family member didn’t make the journey – Lana’s 20-year-old son Nikita who might be conscripted into the Ukrainian army.
The group drove over 1,600 miles across Europe in a trip that took them 60 hours. Lana needed to drive because Ressi wasn’t allowed on planes.
They eventually settled in the UK after being taken in by a host family in Hauxton, Cambridgeshire.
But Ressi behaved poorly at her new home due to constant stress, and barked and excessively panted when she heard loud noises.
Lana said: ‘Our dog is active, she is not well trained yet because all training was interrupted by having to flee, and she is traumatised.’
Lana, Ressi and the family have now managed to transfer to a council flat in Suffolk.
Having lost all their money, the family plan to wait in the UK until the war is over and return to their home country.
But in the meantime, Ressi is struggling to cope with the noise from street racing on the high street below the flat.
Lana added: ‘Every night between the hours of 8 and 11pm there are quite a few cars racing along the street and backfiring which sounds like shooting.
‘We can’t move again and we can’t go back to my country as there are missiles and explosions every day.’
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