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Ep 43: A Veterinarian’s Trip to Ukraine, with Dr. Krista Magnifico

Episode Details

Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify

In today’s episode of The Veterinary Business Success Show, Brendan Howard holds a discussion with Krista Magnifico on her recent animal rescue mission trip to Ukraine. 

Dr. Magnifico earned her veterinary degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005. From vet school, she bought a veterinary clinic in northern Maryland where she practiced surgery for cats and dogs. After seven years in general practice and successfully growing her practice, Krista envisioned a world where pet care was more widely accessible to pet owners without concern for their geography or economic status; with this vision, she founded Pawbly, an organization that partners with other organizations in helping animals find people to care for them. 

Before getting into veterinary medicine, Krista was a merchant mariner and after graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, she sailed for 10 years as Chief Mate of cable-laying ocean-going vessels!

Along with the hundreds of homeless and abandoned animals that Krista helps rescue each year, she shares her home with her three dogs (Jeckyl, Charlie, and Savannah), three cats (Wren, Oriole, and Magpie), and a pot-bellied pig named Strawberry. On the rare occasion that she’s not helping an animal in need, Krista can be found antiquing all around Northern Maryland and Pennsylvania.

In this episode, Dr. Magnifico narrates how her urge to save animals led her to the war-torn country of Ukraine. She shares her experience from how she prepared for the trip to the day she landed in Romania to when she finally arrived at her designated animal shelter in Ukraine. 

This episode provides a deep insight into the animal situation in Ukraine and how veterinarians and other volunteers can team up to offer assistance.

Podcast Outline

  • [00:00] Podcast Intro
  • [01:05] Brendan asks: Why and when did you decide to go to Ukraine?
  • [06:33] Krista Magnifico explains why she chose to directly assist in the crises. 
  • [06:54] Brendan asks: What were your expectations before you landed? Brendan Howard also asks Krista to describe her experience working with the people she met who were also working with the animals.
  • [08:45] Krista explains her feelings about the safety of her stay in Romania or Ukraine.
  • [09:35] Brendon asks Krista to give her experience when she first landed at the airport in Romania and her trip from there to Ukraine
  • [12:55] Krista describes how she felt as her friend, who had come to pick her up from the airport, narrated his experiences in Ukraine. 
  • [14:27] Krista narrates her first encounter with an animal in Ukraine which was a large docile grizzly bear and a wolf. 
  • [16:45] Krista explains how she felt when her friend asked to go back to the airport in Romania as they were on transit to Ukraine.
  • [17:56] Brendan asks: Did you contemplate going back with her?
  • [18:38] Krista narrates the events that transpired after rescuing the wolf and the Bear.
  • [20:59] Krista likes her first impression of Ukraine with Israel.
  • [21:42] Brendan asks, was it how you imagined?
  • [24:37] Krista explains how the years she spent in the sea assisted her cope up with the events in Ukraine.
  • [25:40] Ad break – join Leaders.
  • [26:56] The podcast resumes with Brendan asking Krista about the first 24 hours of her arrival.
  • [29:29] Brendan asks: What was it like for the animals when you finally settled at the station?
  • [31:00] Brendan asks Krista to describe how all the animals at the station were kept. 
  • [32:21] What was the purpose of spaying and neutering?
  • [33:40] Krista and Brendan discuss some of the Ukrainian rules that had to be broken so as to manage the situation at the station.
  • [34:08] Did Krista leave earlier than expected?
  • [36:33] From whom or where were the animals found? 
  • [38:29] Krista explains the point when she decided that enough was enough.
  • [40:23] Krista describes the various instances when she had to take control of situations. 
  • [42:39] Having gone to Ukraine and come back, what are Krista’s feelings towards everything going on there?
  • [44:57] Krista and Brendan advise on adopting animals instead of issuing money as a form of assistance to the Ukrainian war.
  • [47:09] Krista explains the tendency of sadness of living in Ukraine.
  • [51:04] Krista describes the various animal problems in Ukraine in comparison with the US
  • [52:43] Krista offers advice to veterinarians in the US wishing to go and assist in Ukraine.
  • [55:03] Outro
  • [55:38] The end

Connect with Krista:

Resources Mentioned 

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