Dog Trainer Saves More Than 30 German Shepherds From Ukraine


Chris Jimenez, a dog trainer and a U.S. Army veteran from California, decided to give rescue to 35 dogs in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

When the war kicked off, Chris started receiving phone calls about his own dogs he had located in Kyiv, which is why he decided to go there himself and start a rescue mission.

It took months, sweat, and tears, but he eventually managed to save all of them. The dogs are now safe and taken care of in California, waiting for a new home.

Chris Had Four Of His Own Dogs In Kyiv

a man trains a German charmer
Source: CBS 8 San Diego

Chris had only four of his own German Shepherds in Kyiv when the Russian invasion started. At that point, all he wanted to do was save his own canines from the warzone. 

“At that point, I had four dogs in Kyiv, so I made the decision to go in… and evacuate my own dogs.”

However, when he finally arrived in Ukraine, he saw a lot of dogs living in enclosures. They were practically sentenced to death as there was no one to take care of them anymore. 

It was a total of 35 dogs in the end that he decided to help. But, the rescue mission was extremely difficult due to a low budget.

It Wasn’t The Warzone; It Was The Logistics Of Traveling

a man trains a black German charmer
Source: Imperial Valley Press

Chris said that the warzone aspect itself was not the difficult part. It was more the logistics of traveling with more than three dozen dogs. 

It took him almost five whole months to escape Ukraine. He ended up in several different countries – Romania, Slovakia, Lithuania, and Poland. 

In Poland, he used an abandoned animal facility as a temporary shelter until he collected sufficient money to proceed with the mission. All of the money he had for this mission was spent on buying off the dogs from their initial owners. 

“…so that cost me $80,000 just to possess the dogs,” said Chris.

There, he raised funds to pay for a charter flight to California. Thanks to people all around the world, he managed to collect around $50,000 and finally transport the dogs.

Specially-Trained German Shepherds

According to Chris, all German Shepherds saved from Ukraine were specially-trained working K9s. He says that dogs are “trained for narcotics detection, explosive detection, search and rescue, patrol, and/or personal protection.”

All these canines took part in helping not their handlers, but people from all over Ukraine, and it was just wrong to leave them behind. Luckily, they found their refuge in Chris, who made sure that their life mission continues.

K9 GSDs In A Temporary Kennel Waiting For New Home

cute german shepherd puppies in cages
Source: CBS 8 San Diego

Together with his friends, Chris built a large 8 x 8 x 8 kennel in California for these 35 dogs. This way, they can stretch their legs and easily move, as they need to recover and regain lost strength from thousands of miles of travel.

The dogs finally made it to a safe space, thanks to the undying enthusiasm of Chris. When all of this started, he was discouraged by many people who were telling him that he was crazy to even think about it.

“Every single step of the way, there was somebody telling me I’m not of sound mind.”

Currently, these canines ranging from six months to seven years in age are waiting for a new home. They, however, cannot just get adopted out, as they need proper training and an adequate family. 

Most likely, they will go to police departments or to government agencies, but one thing is for sure – their service will be continued.