For years, Daria Pushkareva works as a photographer and filmmaker out of Moscow. Pushkareva quickly found success, and she started taking on more and more projects. Soon, she found herself regularly working 15-hour days. While Pushkareva was successful, she realized that she wasn’t happy. It felt like there was something missing in her life.
One day, Pushkareva remembered her childhood dream of opening a dog shelter. She started wondering if that was the right path for her.
Around the same time, Pushkareva happened to hear about a shelter puppy who was missing an eye. The puppy needed $150 to get the new eye, and Pushkareva decided to donate the money. She went to the shelter to give them the money, but a volunteer explained that there was nobody who could take the dog to the vet. Pushkareva offered to do it herself.
“I was there with my husband. We exchanged a few glances and I said ‘We might as well do it ourselves.’ At that point, everything became clear and simple,” Pushkareva told Bored Panda.
After that first rescue, Pushkareva and her husband started taking in more and more dogs who badly needed help. They took in lots of sick dogs, and they also took in numerous dogs who were paralyzed. Pushkareva had found her purpose: she was going to provide all these dogs with a good home.
Eventually, Pushkareva and her husband realized they needed more space if they were going to keep rescuing dogs. And so, the pair quit their jobs and moved out to the countryside, where they officially opened their animal sanctuary. Soon, they had over 100 dogs at their sanctuary.
Pushkareva loves her life in the Russian countryside. She says it can be difficult being so far from civilization, but it’s worth it to her.
“People have been constantly contacting us!” Pushkareva says. “Not a lot of people are ready to bring in an aggressive or a seriously hurt dog and that’s understandable. They need a lot of time and attention.”
Pushkareva has also started taking in other types of animals who need help. She looks after everything from foxes to raccoons.
“I then saw an ad on social media about a raccoon without a paw that was looking for a new home, and I was very moved by it. I started reading all kinds of information about raccoons and fell in love. Long story short, it turned out to have seven brothers and one sister, and we just had to take all them to live with us,” Pushkareva says.
Pushkareva now uses her photography skills to take pictures of the more than 200 animals living at her sanctuary. She regularly posts photos and videos of all the animals on her Instagram page.
“I strongly believe that teaching a good attitude towards animals is very important,” Pushkareva explains. “Even those with disabilities can lead happy lives. And foxes can be born not only to become someone’s clothing.”
Pushkareva is doing an incredible job looking after so many animals who have nowhere else to go. If you want to see more photos of Pushkareva’s animals, check out her Instagram page.
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h/t: Bored Panda