A group of Cowichan businesses that works with dogs is raising funds in support of an international organization that rescues displaced animals in Ukraine.
Since the war began in Ukraine nine months ago, around 100,000 people have been killed or injured, along with displacing many more. Animals have also become victims of the conflict; forced to take shelter in destroyed buildings as rescue groups work to save as many as possible.
Originally starting as an awareness-driven media company for other animal rescue groups, Breaking the Chains International now acts as a boots-on-the-ground extraction team, saving animals from dangerous conditions worldwide.
The extraction team is primarily made up of former British Army members who served in conflicts.
“We knew that basically our skillsets obviously in combat zones and conflict zones would be paramount in helping animals Ukraine,” said Tom S-N, founder of the organization.
The organization believes they have managed to rescue more than 6,000 and provided supplies to over 100,000 animals in Ukraine.
The Cowichan Dog Professionals, a group of business owners who work with dogs, is now raising money to help Breaking the Chain International and is inviting the public and their pets to support.
“Literally, we just thought this up in the beginning of November and we just kind of ran with it,” said Shawna Gower, owner of Moto-vated Dog Training.
The idea came after one of the owners learned about the rescue efforts in a podcast.
“I just felt like the poor dogs are just being abandoned, shelters are being abandoned by the people,” said Gower.
Gower says since they began, more than $1,000 has been raised through bottle drives and donations. The group has also started an online “Dollars for Dogs” auction with items such as dog soap, training sessions, and an iPad, which run through Dec. 1.
As a way to help and spread holiday cheer, the Cowichan Dog Professionals is hosting a meet & greet for dog owners on Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free treats will be given and Christmas photos will be taken, but donations are being accepted.
All dogs are welcome to the event which takes place at Moto-vated Dog Training located at 5280 Polkey Road in Duncan.