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Brooklyn friends behind AMA Animal Rescue helping save pets here and in Ukraine

AMA Animal Rescue helping pets near and far
AMA Animal Rescue helping pets near and far 03:39

NEW YORK -- One of the best things about Cindy Hsu's job is meeting so many incredible people and sharing their stories.

Well, the veteran reporter and anchor wants you to meet two best friends from Brooklyn who are saving animals here and across the world.

It's definitely loud at AMA Animal Rescue, which stands for Angels for Mistreated Animals. Anna Khazanova and Marya Vlasova are the top angels who started the no-kill shelter in 2014. They focus on saving the most severely injured animals.

"Saving a life and giving an animal a home is -- you can't, there's nothing better for us, people like us. There's nothing better than that," Khazanova said. "These animals are just as healthy, just as good boys and girls as any bought."

"I think it's very rewarding to see them. When they come to us, they've been abused, they've been neglected. They're so terrified most of the time. They don't know how to walk sometimes, they've never been on the grass. And to see the progress from the day we take them in, the fear in their eyes, and then with time, how we work with them and we rehabilitate them," Vlasova added.

Animal rescue group on needs in Ukraine 03:12

So far, they've saved more than 450 animals, and since they work with only the most dire cases, the vet bills are astronomical.

"We take kittens that have been hit by a car, been thrown out a window, dogs that have been starved. Recently, we had a dog that was attacked by two other dogs," Vlasova said. "The dog was on its death bed and we took him in. We rushed him to emergency. The dog spent months at the hospital. Hospital bills were over $30,000."

They raise the money through generous supporters called AMA Angels, and get the word out on social media through posting at least twice a day on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook. The rescue has a slew of dedicated volunteers and each animal gets a GoFundMe page.

"We write their story, where they were rescued, what's going on, what are the doctors saying, what are the assessments, and what we need to raise, and for the most part we almost always raise around what we need," Khazanova said.

Now, they're trying to help animals nearly 5,000 miles away in Ukraine. Khazanova immigrated from Ukraine to the U.S. when she was 9 years old.

"A lot of animals, house pets, were left behind in times of war. I wouldn't know, thank God, but people were thinking about their kids and their families first," Khazanova said.

Vlasova immigrated from Russia at 18 years old.

"From the day one, I supported Ukraine, I supported Anna and her family and everybody who is struggling. And a lot of Russian people actually do that, too. We understand what's happening. We want to be on the right side of history, and we want to do what we can," Vlasova said.

And what these best friends are doing is partnering with animal rights organizations in Ukraine and raising money and supplies for the pets left behind.

"When the bombs go off in Ukraine the animals get so startled, a lot of them get really bad anxiety and they start circling within their cages and they're so scared," Khazanova said. "It depends on the shelter, but they're all going through such a hardship, and we just could not not do something about it as an animal rescue and as individuals."

Khazanova and Vlasova also joined us live to let us know what the shelters need in Ukraine, and introduced us to a very special dog who is looking for a forever home.     

For more information on AMA Animal Rescue, CLICK HERE

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