War in Ukraine: British Columbia pensioner helps pets left behind by refugees

For the past three weeks, Dan Fine, a retired IT executive from West Vancouver, has been volunteering at a small animal shelter in Poland that rescues and cares for dogs and cats abandoned when their owners fled war in Poland. Ukraine.

“They were told to leave their luggage. If you get on a train or a bus, you can’t bring your pet,” Fine said.

Some of the animals that were left to fend for themselves on the streets were seriously injured by the Russian attacks.

“When you walk these dogs from the hospital, they’re missing limbs,” Fine said. “We treat animals with spinal paralysis. That dog Paulo? Eight bullets.

Teams of volunteers venture into the bombarded neighborhoods in search of injured animals.

“It’s difficult because we can only bring so many back. We don’t have these huge organizations like they have for humans who come in and set up these processes,” Fine said, who added that pets without physical injuries often have mental scars.

“When I deal with these dogs, you see the PTSD they have. They chew their tails, they run around in their crate, they stand and shake,” Fine said. “It’s just awful. what happened to them.”

The 63-year-old pensioner created the Ukrainian War Animals Relief Fund. He is collecting donations from Shannon Paterson through a GoFundMe page while a Vancouver lawyer works to register it as a nonprofit.

The biggest needs are pet food, transportation, and medical supplies.

“We need to keep these animals alive until the war is over and people can come back and claim them. And we need to set up a multilingual online database so they can find these dogs and either reconnect with them or we can get them adopted,” Fine said.

As volunteers tend to injured and abandoned animals, war draws closer.

“You can hear the bombs now, which I never heard before,” Fine said. “They don’t just target underground silos or airplane hangars, they only target ordinary people. Which is really awful. “

Although the work can be risky, he and other volunteers on the ground in Poland and Ukraine are undeterred.

“You get excited when you’re making progress with these dogs and they’re having fun and trusting you, they’re coming to hug you,” he said. “But it’s so sad.”

Comments are closed.