Dog Feeding

Struggle tales: Edmonds man’s newest efforts to save lots of animals in Ukraine


Name it ardour – willpower – love – all that – and extra – have an Edmonds man again within the struggle in Ukraine, making an attempt to save lots of injured and deserted animals.

In Ukraine, Dan Wonderful (left) with some crew members of the Struggle Animals Aid Fund. (Photograph courtesy Dan Wonderful)

Dan Wonderful had one objective: To assist save displaced and misplaced animals caught within the combating. This journey, his second, this time took him into Ukraine, into bombed out cities, to shelters filled with wounded, deserted animals, and driving a forest highway that he later discovered, may need been mined.

Tana Axtelle with Strummer (L) and Dan Wonderful with Kal El.

Wonderful and fellow Edmonds resident Tana Axtelle had spent the month of April in a Polish veterinary clinic, just some miles from the Ukrainian border.

Canine lovers each, Wonderful and Axtelle have been drawn by the tales of 1000’s of canines and cats, even livestock, left behind or given up as their homeowners fled the combating. In April, they cleaned cages, walked wounded and traumatized animals, delivered meals, raised cash, and unloaded rescued animals that volunteers braved shell hearth to ship to Polish vets for remedy.

This second journey is completely different and doubtlessly extra harmful. Wonderful (Axtelle didn’t go this time) led a global crew into Ukraine. Amongst them, a veterinarian from Tacoma, a vet technician from Kingston, a Seattle trauma nurse, a Ukrainian who additionally lives in Washington, serving as a driver, and vet techs from Scotland, Amsterdam and Greenland – 10 in all.

Injured canine in Ukrainian shelter after surgical procedure. (Photograph courtesy Dan Wonderful)

They’re all volunteers, working with the group he based earlier than he left – the Ukrainian Struggle Animals Aid Fund (ARF) to jump-start a brand new spay, neuter, vaccine and ID chip venture as a result of the struggle overwhelmed Ukrainian veterinarians.

Dan Wonderful at his desk. (Photograph courtesy BC-CTV, Vancouver, B.C. , the place Wonderful additionally has a house)

For this new mission, Wonderful — a software program entrepreneur — created a Microsoft-based information system to get meals, drugs and provides to Ukrainian animal shelters. The objective is to catalogue deserted animals to get them again to their households or discover new properties, and arrange cellular spay, neuter, vaccination, and ID chip clinics, going from city to city to assist overwhelmed vets.

On July 3 – (someday earlier than Wonderful left Edmonds), ARF posted this:

Sirius animal shelter outdoors Kyiv, Ukraine. (ARF photograph)

“Sirius Shelter is the most important animal shelter in Ukraine. At present this shelter is residence to greater than 3,000 canines and 200 cats, and so they undergo over 1.5 tons of meals per DAY. ARF will present 18 tons of meals to Sirius Shelter, however this will likely be sufficient meals for lower than every week.”

That’s simply a part of what Wonderful and his crew confronted. He tells the story finest, so let’s begin with an e-mail he despatched me when he left Poland for Ukraine:

July 9, 2022 e-mail from Dan Wonderful in Przemysl, Poland

“Right here Goes! Leaving for Kyiv in lower than an hour. Let’s see…the meals that we shipped is caught someplace in customs, so we had to purchase meals and reload vans twice. Our vet is caught in Rwanda as a result of KLM cancelled her flight. Our behaviorist obtained a foul case of pneumonia. We misplaced the usage of one of many vans, and the opposite van’s alternator is out so he (the driving force) has three batteries to make it to Kyiv. We struggled to seek out somebody to transform our forex into Ukrainian and a zillion different particulars went haywire. However so what? This superb crew got here up with options and we’re good to go. Declaration kinds are stuffed out and we’re headed to the border. And as we meet folks, extra alternatives hold popping up for us to assist. ‘Naturewatch’ donated feeding tubes and we’ll mount them in key areas with hungry animals and put meals in, and we’re including some stops for extra shelters that want consideration. Recreation on!”

Wonderful (proper) and a few volunteers head to Kyiv. (Photograph courtesy Dan Wonderful)

July 12, 2022 ARF submit from Dan Wonderful:

“Second day in Ukraine for the Ukraine Struggle Animals Aid Fund. We visited some villages to feed deserted canines and cats and to deliver meals and meds to small shelters. The devastation is simply unbelievable…

…Russians occupied a few of these villages and so they left them tattered. A part of our group stayed in Kyiv on the fundamental clinic, and we arrange a small clinic (in a constructing with no operating water). It’s going slightly slower than we hoped (80 animals thus far), but it surely’s solely been two days. An incredible crew. Tomorrow, a few of us head as much as the Sirius Shelter for 5 days. 1000’s of canines.” 

Struggle-ravaged cities that Wonderful and volunteers labored in. (Pictures courtesy ARF)

July 15, 2022 ARF submit from Dan Wonderful:

“Now we have 4 clinics working and yesterday we had a document of round 106 animals that have been sterilized, chipped, and vaccinated. A part of us are on the shelter with over 3000 canines and 200 cats. We have been capable of chip 167 canines yesterday and plan to do this many or extra as we speak… We’re 30 miles south of Belarus and many of the villages round right here have been occupied and bombed to hell. Onerous to know.”

Wonderful with a rescued canine he nicknamed “the previous man.” (Photograph courtesy Dan Wonderful)

July 18, 2022 emails from Dan Wonderful

“I used to be out on the clinic as we speak after which we obtained a name to rescue this candy previous man. He was deserted by his household that fled for the struggle and sadly he’s not feeling too nicely he’s obtained some wounds on his foot or leg and his facet. So, we’ve taken him to a vet clinic for remedy. He’s a really, very variety canine. I can inform he’s in slightly little bit of ache. Quickly he’ll be helped.”

 Wonderful shot video with the rescued canine right here.

“Three members of our crew left yesterday due to the mounting army risk. They’re now safely in Poland. One little bit of drama was that Google Maps gave us a path to the shelter, however as we have been taking it, we found it was a logging highway by means of the forest after which we misplaced our sign. We lastly made it to an actual highway after which to the shelter. Their faces turned white once we confirmed them the route. They advised us by no means to undergo the woods, there are landmines in every single place and troopers hiding within the woods.”                                                                                                           

Bombed grocery store in Ukraine. (Photograph courtesy Dan Wonderful)

July 20, 2022 e-mail from Angela Stoop, Ukrainian Struggle Canines Aid fund:

Canines residing within the bombed market. (Photograph courtesy Dan Wonderful)

“Yesterday after a really lengthy day Dan Wonderful picked me up and simply throughout from one other destroyed bridge have been two lovely black canines residing collectively in a badly bombed grocery store…

“We pulled over to feed them and although apprehensive certainly one of them got here instantly. Whereas he was consuming I heard the glass rattle behind me and the second got here out. They ate and that’s all we might do for them. They deserve so a lot better.”

Wonderful and a Struggle Animal Rescue Fund crew then headed to Odessa to roll out one other spay and neuter clinic. They hope it could possibly deal with one other 1,000 animals there.

Ukrainian vets and technicians working with Dan Wonderful’s ARF Basis.

In 17 days on the bottom in Ukraine, Wonderful and his volunteers and their Ukrainian counterparts offered greater than 1,500 sterilizations and vaccinations, implanted 1,900 microchips, delivered tons of meals, and launched cellular clinics to proceed that work.

July 25, 2022 ARF submit from Dan Wonderful:

“Our crew stored their heads down generally doing as much as 80 animals a day in a single clinic, normally with out operating water, an outhouse and generally engaged on ping-pong tables. What an expertise. Thanks to all of the volunteers and donors. This may have by no means occurred with out you. Now, let’s speak about what we are able to do subsequent.”

Wonderful arrives again in Edmonds in a couple of days. And, by no matter “Let’s speak about what we are able to do subsequent” means, Dan Wonderful will discover a method to do it.

For many who wish to assist the trouble, right here is the Ukrainian Struggle Animals Aid fund (ARF) GoFundMe hyperlink. Wonderful confirms that it’s a safe donation web site.

— By Bob Throndsen



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