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Russian couple decide to leave everything and live with 100 animals in the forest

Couple with dogs in snowy forest
© danka_pu - Instagram

Daria Pushkareva’s decision to leave Moscow and go off-grid to look after endangered and abandoned animals wasn’t taken lightly, yet despite the upheaval it is a decision she and her husband do not regret. 

By Nick Whittle, 27 Feb 2019

A wedding photographer by trade, Pushkareva was a workaholic. One of Moscow’s hard-working money earners, her success was by her own admission due to the want of elite Russians to drink from the same cup of glamour and self-expression as those in the West. 

But in doing so, her work did not play to her calling. For where her spirit truly belonged was with animals, and more specifically animals that needed the help of humans to survive. 

The move out of town

Four years ago, she and her husband left Moscow and moved 100 miles out of the city to build the ultimate shelter to lost causes: minks, raccoons and foxes hunted for their fur, and the dogs that no-one else wanted. 

We built six enclosures for our rescue dogs,’ Pushkareva told Bored Panda, ‘and began living completely new and different lives.’

Pushkareva now lives a life that feels right; one that she has dreamed about since she was a little girl. ‘When I and my classmates were talking about future professions I said that I wanted to run a dog shelter,’ she said. 

Growing up without a father, my mom worked really hard, so I didn’t have a dog at the time, it would’ve been too much. My mom understood that getting me a dog eventually would have become an additional weight on herself.’

Pushkareva and her husband now look after over 100 animals. No mean feat if you consider that many of the animals are in need of round-the-clock care. But both agree that they live more fulfilling lives than ever before. 

I finally feel that I’m not wasting my life but spending my time meaningfully,’ Pushkareva told Bored Panda. ‘I’m helping these animals and am sincerely enjoying it.’ 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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