Our team touched down in Warsaw on April 12th, made the long drive to Przemyśl, Poland, checked into their Airbnb and sorted through all the luggage of supplies before they could finally get some rest. Then in the early morning hours of April 13th, they hit the ground running and headed directly to the Ada Foundation ready to get to work.
They were greeted by Dr. Radoslaw Fedaczyński and given a tour of the facility. Quickly realizing that things were under control, and they didn’t really need our help; Dr. Soto decided to switch gears and come up with Plan B, to find a place where she and her group could be of more assistance.
Tesco shopping center in downtown Przemyśl had become a temporary refugee camp with a makeshift vet hospital. Thousands of refugees and their pets had crossed through and hundreds more were residing there waiting for the war to end. After dispersing four large suitcases of supplies to Ada Foundation, the gang left for Tesco. Upon arrival there, they immediately jumped in checking dogs and cats waiting in the parking lot, even treating some animals on the side of the road.
Dr Soto met a vet from Denmark who had already been at Tesco for a month with no other veterinarians showing up to help. So, when she saw our group of ten walk in, she started to cry. She was so relieved and exhausted. Not only had she been working at the camp by herself, but she had also been volunteering at Centaurus Foundation in Medyka, near the Ukraine border and asked if we could also check on the dogs and cats there. Our support couldn’t have come at a better time.
Team WUFAW arrived in Medyka the next morning, April 14th and met the lovely Malik, a representative for Centaurus, who was beyond grateful to see them especially when he found out they were from Los Angeles. He’s a huge fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger and asked if anyone knew him personally. Sadly, no one did ;)
The dogs and cats there were well cared for and mostly had superficial issues like skin disease and dehydration, however there was a room full of puppies gravely ill with Parvo. The vets attended to them first, giving fluids and antibiotics. Then it was determined that four of the most severe pups needed intensive care and were sent to the closest vet hospital. Where two of them later died; the other two continued to fight for their lives.
On the morning of April 15th as they were doing rounds at Centaurus, our team was approached by Malik, asking them to cross the border into Ukraine to a second shelter in Lviv that was in dire straites. There were over 140 animals rescued from the war-ravaged town of Borodyanka in Eastern Ukraine where more than 500 dogs had been abandoned and locked in cages. More than 300 didn’t survive. WUFAW was caught off guard with the request because part of the agreement when we sent the team over was that no one would risk their lives to cross into Ukraine. But once we were asked it was hard to say no.