Brave Polish Veterinarian Had Been Forgoing Sleep to Save Animals in Ukraine

Throughout the past few weeks we’ve been chronicling all of the wonderful acts of kindness and bravery towards animals and pets in Ukraine. From the stray puppy taken in by Ukrainian soldiers to the Ukrainian refugee who crossed the border, then turned around to save abandoned dogs, there has been no shortage of heroic deeds in the name of animal-kind. Well, there’s another Polish young man who has been working diligently to save the lives of our four-legged friends and his story might be the most incredible one yet.

A Polish veterinarian who goes by the name of Jakub Kotowicz has been entering war-torn Ukraine from the town of Prezmusl in Poland. He’s been risking his life to bring back the animals who would otherwise be caught in the cross-fire. Kotowicz is extremely dedicated – on his last visit to Lviv, he didn’t sleep for five days, working tirelessly to help those in need. 

In three convoys, Kotowicz has rescued over 200 cats and 60 dogs from Lviv. He’s even rescued Vira, a dog with a bullet in her spine, and Sasha, a two-month-old pygmy goat with deformed legs. Right now, Kotowicz and his staff are getting a wheelchair for Vira. Meanwhile, Sasha has already found her forever home – with Kotowicz! “Sasha came to us from the first convoy to Lviv, an old woman asked us to have her. She has diseased legs,” said Kotowicz. Sasha sleeps on a bed with several chihuahuas. It’s a scenario that couldn’t be cuter if it weren’t also so dire.

Jakub and Sasha: Tom Maddick / SWNS

The thing about war, is it’s not a good time for anyone. Countless Ukrainians have died in the constant bombing by Russians, including children and women in a maternity ward. And the animals haven’t fared much better. “All the cats are very stressed, the journey from Lviv is one day and we crossed the border with a diplomatic pass but the queue from Ukraine was very long,” explained Kotowicz. Unfortunately, some of the animals had to be put down because of their poor condition. Other animals reportedly have PTSD. 

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But there will be a happy ending for the animals thanks to Kotowicz’s bravery. His clinic has created a “dog village” and is working on finding forever homes for them. “We are preparing the animals for an adoption process. 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,” said Kotowicz. 

There’s even better news for some of the cats – they’ve been reunited with their original Ukrainian owners. You love to see families kept together like that. 

Kotowicz has an impressive history of helping animals. At just 17, he founded the ADA foundation, an animal rescue that runs completely off of donations. You can donate to the ADA here

Hats off to Kotowicz and all the other brave Polish people who have been doing everything they can to help out displaced Ukrainians – human and animal!



Update! We have partnered with Greater Good Charities to help pets and people affected by the crisis in Ukraine. I have personally worked with Greater Good Charities before to hand out bags of food to local dog rescues during the pandemic shutdown. While the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve, Greater Good Charities is working with their partners to make sure that funds are getting to the right groups on the ground in Ukraine. Our goal is to reach $20,000 as soon as possible and we’re well on our way, but we need your help! Please click here to give today and let’s help these pets and families in need.

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For even more ways to help people and pets in Ukraine, check out the links below:

UAnimals – Donation Link here
Happy Paw – Donation Link Here
Shelter Ugolyok – Donation Link Here

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