Polish hero risks his life to recover more than 100 cats and dogs stuck in Ukraine

A Polish charity worker is making regular runs into war-torn Ukraine to rescue dozens of abandoned pets.

Konrad Kuzminski is among a handful of staff from an animal shelter close to the Polish-Ukrainian border which has been flooded with calls from desperate Ukrainians asking for help.

Since the outbreak of hostilities last week Konrad and his colleagues from the animal charity Dioz have rescued more than 100 dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters and even a chameleon.

Konrad said: ‘There has been a lot of fake news and uncorroborated stories that Ukrainians are killing abandoned animals, that is just not correct.

‘We have been involved in many rescue missions in over there, rescuing animals that we have been told about or who have been taken to shelters.

‘A lot of them are in a bad way, they are sick, hungry or suffering from broken limbs we collect every animal we find and bring them back to our shelter to be looked after.’

The shelter on the outskirts Przemysl has been working overtime the last week with the team making a crossing every day.

Vital paperwork means they able to speed across the border without having to stop for long and they can take the animals quickly back to their centre.

MailOnline spotted Konrad and his van – a converted ambulance – at the border as he took a German Shepherd he had rescued from the Ukrainian city of Lviv for a walk.

He said: ‘It hurts me so much to see these animals suffering and people sometimes forget about pets at times of war which I suppose is a natural consequence.

‘Last weekend I had a call from a guy who was in Ukraine, and he said he was living on his own but had a dog and he wanted us to look after because he was going to fight the Russians.

‘We arranged to meet just over the border, and he was in tears as he handed his dog over to me but I said we would look after him and he could collect him when all this was over.’

Konrad and his colleagues have been working round the clock for the last week and he even had to spend the night in his van because he had overrun into the curfew.

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