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Dog rescued from Ukraine has PTSD

Ressi is now getting better with positive reinforcement training.

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Ressi, scared by fireworks. (Lana Sushko via SWNS)

By Debbie Luxon via SWNS

A dog that fled to the UK from Ukraine with its owner has been left so traumatized by the war that it is constantly terrified of cars and fireworks.

Lana Sushko, 47, says her mutt Ressi refuses to go outside even to use the toilet and will shake and cower in fear when she hears loud noises outside the house.

Together the pair witnessed the start of the war in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Lana said the bombing, which started over their heads whilst on a dog walk sounded like it "broke the sound barrier."

The 18-month-old pup is now triggered and kept up at night by illegal street racing on the high street below their home.

Ressi the dog on Lana's Sushko's suitcase in Ukraine on the first day of the war. (Lana Sushko via SWNS)

Lana is now making a desperate appeal to residents of Haverhill, UK, for help to treat her PTSD-suffering pet.

Lana, a teacher of English as a foreign language, said Ressi first became traumatized on the day the war began: "The military airport nearby was bombarded on the very first night of the war.

"I was walking Ressi at 5 am when we heard the bombings.

"They break the sound barrier with this incredibly loud bang and whistle."

Ressi with ear protectors, to help with her fear of loud noises. (Lana Sushko via SWNS)

"By 6 am we were all huddled in the bathroom- I screamed at my daughter and son to get in there where it was safest.

"The next day I walked Ressi at 10 am. There was a loud explosion all of a sudden, probably from the military airport.

"She pulled and I fell over, letting her go as she ran away.

"Two men were walking towards us 100 meters away. I asked her to come back as she ran towards them and then one of them took out a gun."

Svitlana (Lana) Sushko with daughter Evelina. (Lana Sushko via SWNS)

"I was scared to death that he would kill her, but he shot up straight into the air.

"She whined and turned around and ran straight to me. I dragged her all the way home."

The same day Lana packed her life into a car and fled to Poland.

She has since done everything she can to keep her family together, traveling over 1,600 miles to their new home in the UK.

(Lana Sushko via SWNS)

She had to leave behind her 20-year-old son Nikita, who could be called to join the army any moment once he finishes his studies.

She drove her 15-year-old daughter Evelina, then eight-month-old dog Ressi and her 12-year-old cat Gulia 60 hours across borders after the rescue dog wasn't allowed on a plane.

They even gave up a host family home after being asked to give up the dog or leave due to her behavioral issues.

Lana said she couldn't bare the thought of leaving her young dog who she has gone through so much with.

(Lana Sushko via SWNS)

The family eventually arrived in England with the help of volunteers who drove 1,000 miles to fetch them from Katowice, Poland.

A host family then took them in for two months.

Ressi, traumatized from her experience in Ukraine, would react to any loud noise, barking and becoming stressed, panting with her tail between her legs and refusing to leave the house.

The family eventually requested Lana leave or rehome Ressi.

Lana said: "Our dog is active, she is not well trained yet because all training was interrupted by having to flee, and she is traumatized."

They moved to another host home in Whaddon, where Ressi became more relaxed and started to settle with some training.

This was until pheasant season started in October and the sound of shooting became an everyday, terrifying occurrence.

Lana eventually managed to find a home on the high street of Haverhill, Suffolk, for her family.

She had lost all her savings fleeing her home country, having only bought an apartment in Kyiv last year that she is now unable to use or sell.

She hopes they can now stay where they are until the war ends in Ukraine and they can go home.

Until then Lana, Ressi, Gulia and Evelina are learning to cope with the triggering sounds of street racing.

Lana has filed nine police reports to no avail, so appealed to the local community via a Facebook group post.

She wrote: "Every night between the hours of 8 and 11 pm there are quite a few cars racing along the street and backfiring which sounds like shooting.

"We can't move again and we can't go back to my country as there are missiles and explosions every day.

"Are there any other dog owners who aren't happy with this issue?"

There she was put in touch with Tracy Hancock from Dogwarts K9 Academy.

Tracy said: "There are already laws in place regarding the noise level of exhausts on vehicles and the removal of silencers, however, fireworks should have tighter restrictions for sure.

"Noise sensitivity unfortunately is one of the most common behavior struggles that dogs will experience.

"It is also a massive subject because noises are happening all the time and other senses are part of the overall picture."

Ressi is now getting better with positive reinforcement training from Tracy.

Suffolk police said: "We are very conscious that anti-social behavior (ABS) can blight communities and seriously affect people's quality of life.

"With that in mind, we urge residents to report ASB to us."

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