Brave Shelter Vet Risks Life To Rescue Animals From War-Torn Ukraine

Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they’re brave people committed to helping animals–even when that means risking their lives to do so.

A Polish veterinarian, Jakub Kotowicz, is one of those heroes, according to the New York Post.

Ever since fighting erupted in Ukraine, the 32-year-old shelter vet has risked his life rescuing animals trapped in the war, which is raging just across the border from ADA, an animal shelter he founded in Przemyśl, Poland.

Now Jakub–who founded ADA when he was just 17 years old—-has reportedly saved hundreds of Ukrainian cats, dogs, and even a baby goat.

Many of these sick, injured, and/or abandoned animals–whom Jakub and other shelter workers rescue drive to safety in converted pet ambulances–arrive at the Polish shelter desperate for medical care.

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This includes dogs like Vira, who arrived at the shelter with a bullet lodged in her spine. Other rescues–like Sasha, a baby goat with deformed legs–would have died if they stayed behind in Ukraine.

But here at Jakub’s shelter, Ukraine’s four-legged war victims get a second chance–even though these animals have been traumatized by the war.

“All the cats are very stressed,” the veterinarian told SWNS. “The journey from Lviv is one day and we crossed the border with a diplomatic pass but the queue from Ukraine was very long.”

One shelter volunteer who flew down from England to help out agreed. “The animals have got PTSD,” he said.

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Many of these animals have also lost their families in the war, which has killed thousands of civilians and caused millions of Ukrainians to flee.

After nursing these animals back to health, ADA helps them get adopted around Europe. In a few cases, the Polish shelter has even reunited pets with their actual owners outside of Ukraine.

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“We are preparing the animals for an adoption process,” said Jakub. “Sometimes the animals which are in very poor condition will be with us for two or three months. Some people came here and were asking if we had their cat.”

At least Sasha, the baby goat, has already found his forever home. When the war is over, Jakub plans to adopt the tiny war orphan, who is now best friends with two rescued chihuahuas.

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But even though Jakub’s shelter is overflowing with four-legged war refugees, this heroic vet isn’t done saving needy animals from the war.

According to the New York Post, Jakub is raising money to purchase a third pet ambulance, planning an onsite “dog village” for lost dogs, and hoping to convert an old pizza shop to make room for even more four-legged war refugees. Learn more by following ADA on Facebook.

The Animal Rescue Site has also partnered with Greater Good Charities to provide emergency aid to people and animals in Ukraine. Please make a donation to help us support Ukraine’s two- and four-legged refugees during this crisis.

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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