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​Inspiring images: People risk their lives saving animals from devastating Balkans flood

Published time: May 24, 2014 00:21
Edited time: May 26, 2014 06:08
A Serbian emergency services worker evacuates a dog from floodwaters in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. (AFP Photo/Andrej Isakovic)

A Serbian emergency services worker evacuates a dog from floodwaters in the town of Obrenovac, 40 kilometers west of Belgrade, on May 16, 2014. (AFP Photo/Andrej Isakovic)

Unprecedented floods have raged across the Balkans affecting over a million people. Fleeing in panic, in packed boats and trucks, many owners could not bring their animals along – but others courageously risked their own lives to save beloved pets.

Raging floodwaters made saving pets dangerous.

Photo from Twitter/@ChaosAddicted

But efforts have been underway to rescue any animals that survived the calamity, and reunite them with their owners.

Photo from Blic / Dusan Milenkovic

People used whatever improvised means they could to save their animals…

Photo from Twitter/@njofranjofra

And banded together to save multiple pets.

A Croatian rescuer with two dogs in a boat on a flooded street in the village of Gunja, in eastern Croatia, 18 May, 2014. (AFP Photo)

Even the military is helping to save animals

Photo from Twitter/@alna_anna

Although some animals have been left to fend for themselves.

Photo from Twitter/@JuliaDavisNews

Farming is a way of life in many of the poorer, hardest hit regions...

Sheep are seen on the terrace of a flooded house in Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, May 20, 2014. (Reuters/Marko Djurica)

So saving livestock is a matter of life and death.

A man climbs on the roof of a house to feed pigs they rescued during heavy floods in the village of Vojskova, May 19, 2014. (Reuters/Srdjan Zivulovic)

Some of the dog shelters in Serbia have focused on reuniting pets and their families.

And animals are grateful to their courageous saviors

Photo from Twitter/@KacicaBicBoziji

Stunned by the scale of the natural disaster and the courage of locals trading their own safety to rescue their beloved pets, people are uniting online under the hashtags #HelpSerbia, #HelpBalkans #HelpCroatia, #HelpBosnia and others – to spread the word and try to secure some help for those in distress.

Many reputable organizations are accepting donations, including Red Cross Bosnia, Red Cross Croatia, Red Cross Serbia, Novak Djokovic Foundation, Government of Serbia and Association Pomozi. Serbian embassies around the world are also collecting donations.

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