When Dan Fine returned from his first trip volunteering at animal shelters on the Polish-Ukrainian border in late April, he immediately felt compelled to return to continue helping pets that have been left behind in the war.
“It was on a whim I was there last time, to really see what I could do to help. And I felt good about that, we did walk a lot of dogs and help them heal. But I realized it was just a drop in a bucket, and there is a much bigger problem,” said Fine, the founder of the Ukrainian War Animals Relief Fund.
That problem is overpopulation. “Ukraine did a great job of spaying and neutering before the war, they had a great program. But since the Russians invaded, they stopped that program. So we are going over to to try to help,” said Fine.
For the second trip, the retired West Vancouver tech executive has recruited an international team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, behaviourists and other animal care experts.
“While we are there we want to do 1,000 animals – spay, neuter and vaccinate, microchip, flea treat, tick treat, clean their ears, clip their nails,” said Fine.
It will be the first trip to war zone for Seattle veterinary technician Kim Morgan, who has run spay and neuter clinics in Mexico for years.
“It scares me of course. I think it would be ridiculous if I said it didn’t bother me. But I do believe every effort will be made to keep us safe, and I do believe helping these animals is a huge calling. It’s needed,“ said Morgan.
Fine said having people like Morgan, who have experience in pop-up international spay and neuter clinics, is crucial.
“She’s used to working in weird circumstances, uncomfortable circumstances as well as the other vet techs that are coming. So we are all collaborating on the best way to do this,” said Fine.
While the nine people heading to Ukraine are all volunteering their time, the Ukrainian War Animals Relief Fund is collecting donations for much-needed supplies through GoFundMe.
“Please donate,” said Morgan. “The only way that these non-profit, these humanitarian projects happen is through donations.”
Fine knows this trip will be more complicated and riskier than his last one.
“This time instead of the Polish border, we will be in Kyiv and north of Kyiv, a little bit of danger,” he said, adding his family doesn’t want him to go.
“They think I can do it from here. I think I need to be there to show that this can be done, and I wouldn’t ask someone to do this if I’m not willing to do it myself,” said Fine. “I’m a dog guy and I love cats, I love animals. It’s something that I feel I’m good at, organizing a team.”
He admits he’s nervous as he prepares to leave for the month-long trip to Ukraine on July 4, but is ready to help.
“It’s going to be challenging, but we have got some smart people, we will figure it out, we will make it happen,” Fine said. “Game on.”
Thousands of people wearing red and white and waiving Canadian flags packed downtown Ottawa to celebrate Canada's 155th birthday on Friday, while groups of protesters popped up around Parliament Hill to protest COVID-19 vaccines and federal restrictions.
In the wake of last year’s discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools and the prominent displays of the Canadian flag during 'Freedom Convoy' protests, some Canadians are re-evaluating the meaning of the national symbol.
A recent survey shows nearly 50 per cent of Canadians who rent expect to do so forever. As rising interest and inflation rates contribute to a sense of pessimism among first-time homebuyers in Canada, some are sharing their struggles with purchasing their first house.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is calling on Canadians to recommit to the country’s values, including respect, hope and kindness, in his official Canada Day message.
The Assembly of First Nations says an Ontario court has rejected a bid by National Chief RoseAnne Archibald to overturn her recent suspension.
Moving toward reconciliation doesn't come from jumping 'the queue to perfection,' but by building bridges and trusting one another, Canadian singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk told CTV News Channel during Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa on Friday.
U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate an anti-abortion Republican lawyer to a federal judgeship, two Kentucky Democrats informed of the decision say.
A Russian airstrike on residential areas killed at least 21 people early Friday near the Ukrainian port of Odesa, authorities reported, a day after the withdrawal of Moscow's forces from an island in the Black Sea had seemed to ease the threat to the city.
The World Health Organization's Europe chief warned Friday that monkeypox cases in the region have tripled in the last two weeks and urged countries to do more to ensure the previously rare disease does not become entrenched on the continent.
A Vancouver Island real estate agent has lost his bid to recover a deposit he made on a new Ford Mustang that he intended to offer as a prize in a year-long contest in 2020.
A search for two "suspicious" men in Saanich Thursday afternoon ended with no risk to the public, police said.
There was more frustration for BC Ferries passengers at the Horseshoe Bay terminal Friday, with some waits extending upwards of five hours at the outset of the long weekend.
Friday marked the first Canada Day in two years without any public health restrictions, which meant Calgarians were finally able to gather at several in-person events across the city.
Members of Calgary’s Vietnamese community gathered Friday at The Journey to Freedom Park to celebrate the unveiling of a meaningful monument.
The Flames lost their longtime organist Friday, when Willy Joosen died.
A local beekeeper is asking for help to rescue a colony of honeybees from a junior high school.
The Edmonton Ismaili Muslim community was busy at the Alberta Legislature Friday morning meeting and greeting Edmontonians at their Canada Day pancake breakfast.
An explosive comeback will light up the Edmonton sky Friday night as Canada Day fireworks return to pre-pandemic proportions.
Ontario drivers experienced some relief from record-setting prices at the pump on Friday as the province's gas tax cut came into effect.
One of Toronto’s Canada Day fireworks displays has been cancelled and another has been postponed after a vendor pulled out at the last minute.
Three people are dead, and two others are seriously injured, including a child, in a collision in Brock Township.
A prominent housing advocacy group fears Quebec could see an increase in households left without a permanent place to live as leases expire across the province on July 1.
This year, Quebec summer camps are facing staffing shortages and rising costs, and some have had to cut back on spaces leaving families in the lurch.
Laval police are asking for the public's help to find 30-year-old Mario Minassian.
In-person Canada Day festivities made a return on Friday for the first time since the pandemic started, with residents bringing back old traditions and creating new ones.
A pro-choice rally was held at the Manitoba Legislative Building on Friday -- a week after Roe v. Wade was reversed by the United States Supreme Court.
Officers with the Manitoba RCMP have confirmed that a body was found in the Assiniboine River on Thursday.
Canada Day will look a little different in Saskatoon as things move downtown.
It's been 25 years since Saskatchewan's last residential school closed, but some are still healing.
The City of Saskatoon will be running 46 summer play programs from July 4 until August 25.
Both the City of Regina and the provincial government remind travellers to stay safe due to the increased number of people travelling for the Canada Day long weekend.
Live performance kicks off at noon on the main stage in Wascana Park with opening ceremonies, followed by a variety of entertainment:
Regina police responded to an early morning report of a break and enter into a business on the 3700 block of Eastgate Drive East on Friday.
The spouse of the gunman in the Nova Scotia mass shooting will testify mid-July before a public inquiry, but she won't face direct questions from lawyers representing victims' families.
As Claire Mahaney-Lion dropped her son off at school this morning, she questioned the reasons behind scheduling a school day that would last fewer than two hours.
Saint John is having its dog day. The host city of the 2022 Memorial Cup is celebrating after the Saint John Sea Dogs bested the Hamilton Bulldogs 6-3 in front of a capacity crowd during Wednesday's championship game at TD Station.
With his wife Joyce on his arm, Tom Hennessy left Victoria Park in London, Ont. to complete his 100-mile walk to raise money for homeless veterans.
After a two-year break due to COVID-19, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics was back Friday in London.
Close to 1,000 people are at Victoria Park in London, Ont Friday morning for the second annual Turtle Island Healing Walk.
There was music and dancing with everyone taking time to honour the dedication of those who fought for the freedoms we enjoy in Canada today at the legion.
A special ceremony was held today on Manitoulin island, where friends and loved ones of a fallen OPP constable gathered to rename a local marina in his honour.
For Ukrainians who were able to flee from Russia's invasion into the country, Canada has become a safe haven.
Emergency service workers in the Region of Waterloo kicked off a friendly competition Friday to see which team can donate the most blood by Labour Day.
OPP are trying to identify a man who they say was involved in an "unwanted residential paving incident" in Puslinch, Ont.
The Edmonton Elks are counting on Tre Ford, the former University of Waterloo football star, to start Friday's game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.