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Colorado man travels to Ukraine border to provide free services to families fleeing with pets

fort collins vet in ukraine.jpg
Posted at 7:40 AM, Mar 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-31 12:02:23-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A Colorado veterinarian traveled all the way to the Ukraine/Romania border to provide free services to families fleeing with their pets.

Fort Collins-based vet Jon Geller’s passion for helping animals led him to the Issacea Border Crossing station in Romania where he set up a mobile vet tent to provide medical care to animals to assure they are able to travel safely.

“It was like everybody else, I wanted to help and I knew it would take a leap out of my comfort zone since I didn’t know what I was getting into,” Geller said. “They want to leave, they want to bring their pets, but there’s a lot of requirements for them to pass through Eastern Europe with their pets.”

His nonprofit, Street Dog Coalition, is set up in the crossing station, an area that sees hundreds of families passing through every day.

It offers pet vaccines, pet passports and whatever else families need to make sure their furry companions are safe.

“They are really worried about their pets. For some of them, they’d feel lost without them,” Geller said.

The Issacea Border Crossing Station has expanded into a safe space where volunteers from all over the world are coming together to help, offering families a hot meal and a place to rest.

“After we get done with their pets, they get warmed up, get some food and get on a bus that mostly is taking them to Bucharest, but maybe somewhere else," Geller said.

The experience has been lifechanging for Geller.

“It’s amazing to see how unifying, even though it’s a horrible event, how unifying this war has been,” he said.

In Colorado, Street Dog Coalition helps pets of those who are experiencing homelessness.

Anyone interested in supporting Street Dog Coalition can visit their website.