The horrifying scenes of people fleeing Ukraine with their children, belongings on their backs and pets in tow have disturbed all of us across the globe. As two million refugees seek shelter in Poland, the need for humanitarian aid and supplies is great and urgent.
Dr. Cliff is no stranger to rescue missions and volunteering across the world with animal welfare groups. The anguishing images and news coverage of the war sparked him into immediate action. He reached out to the ADA Foundation and DIOZ, two animal welfare organizations working at the border in Poland to understand their needs and realized he had the skills to get actively involved on the ground. Dr. Cliff’s daughter, Emily, was already in Europe. She had accompanied him on previous animal rescue missions and was eager to help.The prospect of going near a war zone was no deterrent to either of them. So the decision was made and Dr. Cliff left for Poland on 21th March 2022.
ADA & DIOZ
The ADA Foundation is located in Przemysl, Poland, just 30 minutes from the border with Ukraine near Lviv. For over 30 years they have offered shelter to abandoned animals in the region. As soon as the war broke out, they pivoted their services to helping animals in the war zone. DIOZ, a similar non-profit animal rescue service, joined them in this effort.
Since 24 February 2022, they have treated over 300 animals. Their staff and volunteers risk their lives by driving into Ukraine regularly to ferry abandoned dogs and cats across the border for treatment and shelter. They receive location informtion daily from a steady stream of Ukrainians who were forced to leave their pets behind. Others bring their pets in for medical checkups and vaccinations certificates necessary for seeking refuge in other countries. And then there are those who cannot continue forward with the pets they brought across the border. With heavy hearts and tears, they leave them behind, informing vets they will return to collect their furry loved ones when peace prevails in the region. Dr. Cliff will work alongside other veterinarians from across the globe to assist with these matters for two weeks, and if necessary, longer.
Before he left Canada, ADA and DIOZ informed Dr. Cliff of their dire need for medical supplies, equipment and an animal ambulance. So Dr. Cliff packed medications and equipment donated from his clinic, Wellington Veterinary Hospital, located in Markham, Ontario, Canada. However, the animal ambulance required fundraising. So he set up a GoFundMe page and undertook a marathon whirlwind media tour to get the word out before catching his flight.
Within days, the goal of $10,000 was met and the funds were released to DIOZ on March 19th, 2022 to purchase the animal ambulance they desperately needed to perform their work. The fundraising campaign continues, and anyone wishing to donate can click on the GoFundMe icon to connect directly to Dr. Cliff’s page.Your money will fund the ongoing rescue work by ADA and DIOZ at the Ukrainian/ Polish border.
Follow Dr. Cliff’s Updates from Poland
Dr. Cliff continues to publsh regular updates on the GoFundMe page, and you can also follow his work at this rescue mission through his social media channels. He hopes to bring 40 – 50 homeless animals back to Canada for adoption. Stay tuned!
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About Dr. Cliff
Dr. Cliff Redford, DVM, is an experienced veterinarian and owner/operator of the Wellington Veterinary Hospital in Markham, Ontario, Canada. Fondly known as Dr. Cliff to his clients, he has tended to the wellness of pets and animals for over two decades. Hands-on experience in his clinic, combined with animal advocacy and rescue missions locally and across the globe, has allowed him to curate a vast body of knowledge on animal health and welfare, including preventative counselling, soft tissue surgery, advanced dental procedures, internal medicine and emergency care.