Written by Dobi Finley
Daria Pushkareva was a successful photographer living in Russia’s capital city of Moscow when she decided to leave the bustling city life behind – which is why she now lives in the woods with over 100 rescued animals.
As a child growing up in Russia, Pushkareva had always dreamed of rescuing dogs and opening up her own dog shelter. Though she ended up leading a robust career as an elite wedding photographer in Moscow, she always felt a desire to leave everything behind in search of something more.
Pushkareva’s first rescue was a one-eyed, flea-covered puppy from the local animal control. She soon started taking in more rescued animals, especially those that had special needs.
Her rescue efforts kept snowballing until one day when Pushkareva finally decided to follow through on her dream and buy a country house in a forest 100 miles from Moscow.
Pushkareva and her husband now use it to care for over 100 animals. In addition to rescuing dogs, she also saves animals from the fur farming industry, such as raccoons, raccoon dogs, foxes, and arctic foxes.
People from all over have contacted Pushkareva and asked her to take in rescued and unwanted dogs, many of which either have behavioral issues, special needs, or disabilities – but if they had not been taken in by the Russian couple, then they would most likely have been euthanized.
They now devote their entire lives to taking care of their rescued animals. They mostly spend their days making sure that all the dogs have been fed; giving the animals their medication; and keeping all of the living spaces clean and tidy. They have also built nighttime enclosures for all of the animals, but the furry residents apparently get to run around all they want during the day.
Since the Russian couple mostly lives off of the grid, they use solar panels and a generator for electricity – and thanks to a little help from their friends, they also now have running water and indoor plumbing.
The animal rescuers says that even though taking care of 100 critters can be exhausting, Pushkareva now feels more fulfilled than ever – and she hopes that her work will help to show people that even disabled dogs can live long and happy lives.
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