San Diego dog trainer desperate to get home after evacuating 35 dogs from Ukraine
“These dogs do amazing things for their owners,” said Chris Jimenez. “It seems fair to return the favor.”
SAN DIEGO — A local K-9 coach is desperate to return to San Diego. He’s stuck in Poland after evacuating his dogs from Ukraine.
“I was sitting at my house in San Diego. My friend texted me, ‘We’re bombarded,'” said Chris Jimenez, owner of K-9 Connect, a San Diego-based dog training business.
Jimenez said he immediately planned to travel to Ukraine to rescue his 35 German Shepherds. He said they are based in Kyiv and are trained to work with the military and law enforcement.
“For the first two days, to be honest with you, a lot of these dogs weren’t even eating. They didn’t want to go out and play, they didn’t want to do anything. For a German Shepherd not wanting to chase a tennis ball, it’s pretty serious,” he said.
The 27-year-old army veteran said he spent days getting his dogs to safety. He was finally able to bring them to an abandoned animal shelter in Poland. This is where Jimenez spoke to CBS 8 on Friday.
He documents his journey on social networks.
“Every step of the way someone was telling me I wasn’t sane,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I ask these dogs to do amazing things for their K-9 handlers. They walk through gunfire, they face attackers, it seems fair to return the favor.”
Jimenez relies on help from strangers. He said many people had dropped off donations for the dogs.
He found a flight for the dogs to the United States, but said it could cost up to $40,000.
He set up a GoFundMe account and hopes to raise enough money to bring them back to San Diego.
WATCH RELATED: SDHS President Helps Ukrainian Refugees Flee With Their Pets (March 2022).