One of the world’s leading sled dog racers is on a race to evacuate abandoned and injured dogs after volunteering to help in war-torn Ukraine. And he has been joined by Bay Area resident and dog lover Jenny Test.
World champion sled racer Igor Tracz, from Poland, offered his help via social media, as he has his own trucks that are ideal for evacuating injured and traumatized canines. The day after he posted his offer of help, Tracz was on his way to Ukraine to help rescue dogs that had been left behind because of the war.
Accompanied by some of his closest friends and neighbors, Tracz is now organizing regular trips across the Polish-Ukraine border to bring back as many animals as possible.
Speaking to ABC7 News in France, Tracz said the team had managed to save around 250 dogs and cats so far and deliver 60 tons of much-needed food and supplies to shelters and individuals inside Ukraine.
“Always when we are back, we are back with dogs, we are back with kids, and we are back with women because they need evacuation.” Said Tracz.
“Sometimes, we’re transporting injured dogs. One time, we transported a dog without legs after a bombing. We tried saving him, but we lost him.”
Tracz is currently in France, where he has just won his eighth world championship, but he is already planning to return to the rescue efforts in Ukraine. Supporting the animal rescue is Bay Area resident, former doggie daycare owner, and dog lover, Jenny Test, who is now helping to raise money for the next truck convoy.
When she saw what was going on in Ukraine, Jenny was moved to help the rescue mission. Unable to physically get involved due to health issues caused by Lyme disease, Test decided she could fundraise to keep Igor and his fellow animal rescuers on the road.
“I experienced an illness not long ago that prevented me from doing search and rescue work anymore, so I called Igor,” said Test.
After contacting the sled champion, she started a fundraiser to raise money to cover the cost of fuel for the convoys.
“The fundraiser is to keep him on the road. He’s got shelter on wheels because of what he does in the World Championships,” said Test.
“Sponsors are giving free dog food – it’s just perfect, and I really want to keep him moving,” she added.