How a retired Edmonds entrepreneur is using tech to help dogs and cats in Ukraine

Dan Fine helps coordinate and connect resources and organizations across Europe working to save abandoned animals in Ukraine.

EDMONDS, Wash. – Having spent his career in technology, Dan Fine continues to put his skills to good use in retirement to address a crisis around the world.

Fine spends his retirement finding ways to use technology to help abandoned animals in Ukraine’s war-torn regions.

“I was just thinking, how can we apply technology, good old Seattle technology and know-how, to help with this bigger problem,” he said.

Fine has just returned from his second trip to Europe to rescue Ukraine’s lost animals.

Originally Fine walked dogs, cleaned cages and helped as much as he could at local animal shelters last spring, but when he returned this summer he realized there was much more that needed to be done.

“We have to make it big on this one,” he said.

During his recent trip to Ukraine, Fine saw that animal shelters housed 3,000 dogs and consumed 1.5 tons of feed every day.

Dogs live in abandoned houses and bombed out buildings without anyone taking care of them.

Veterinarians work in miserable conditions in makeshift clinics to keep the animals alive in the hope that one day they will be reunited with their families or adopted.

“What you see there is absolutely heartbreaking,” Fine said. “I’m just thinking how can I save all these animals and I know I can’t.”

There are between one and two million abandoned dogs and cats in Ukraine.

During Fine’s short stint there, his team vaccinated, sterilized, and microchipped 5,500 of them.

But that’s a drop in the ocean.

According to fine estimates, 300,000 to 500,000 more need to be treated.

With this in mind, the tech entrepreneur came up with three basic goals to save the furry faces of war: how to keep the animals alive and well, how to adopt them, and how to keep them from repopulating.

Fine posits that over the course of six years, two animals that have litters of six babies will produce 67,000 more dogs and cats.

Through his technical prowess and connections, Fine helps coordinate critical animal infrastructure in Ukraine and the rest of Europe.

Software he commissioned allows animal shelters, food stores, veterinarians and volunteers to connect.

He even uses facial recognition technology to help pets find their way home.

“They can upload a picture from their phone, match it at an animal shelter, or see where the pet was last,” Fine said. “It’s a way of reuniting, but also helping with the adoption, which is a big problem.”

As a next step, Fine wants to work with animal rights organizations and the US government to raise $15 million to save all of these animals. He set up a GoFundMe page.

“Of the billions we send to Ukraine for weapons, we could maybe find $15 million for the animals,” he said.

As he takes care of his own dogs in his sunny Edmonds condo, winter is looming in Ukraine and time is another enemy the innocent animals face.

“These animals are still waiting for their families to come home and they will never come home,” he said. “We have to help.” How a retired Edmonds entrepreneur is using tech to help dogs and cats in Ukraine

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