Kate Geernaert has launched a public appeal for donations ahead of the journey.
Berkshire Live reports that a dog groomer is preparing to travel to Ukraine with a van full of pet food and aid in a bid to help those with animals fleeing the conflict. Kate Geernaert, from Paulton in Somerset, plans to head to the Polish border next week with her partner Clint Sheppard.
They will set off in convoy with vehicles from the charity Dogbus, first taking the Eurotunnel shuttle to France before driving to eastern Europe. On reaching Poland, one of the vans will venture into Ukraine to provide aid, while others will help those who have crossed the border, reports Somerset Live.
More than one million refugees have fled the country since the Russian invasion began eight days ago, according to the UN refugee agency. President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch a full-scale assault on Ukraine has been condemned internationally, with many countries including the UK responding with heavy sanctions.
Ms Geernaert has launched a public appeal for donations ahead of the journey. She is calling for items – including large bags of dog and cat food, jerry cans, medical supplies, leads, carriers, dog coats and blankets – to be gifted to The Dog Groomery in Paulton ahead of Monday, March 7.
Any human aid, from first aid kits to warm clothes for children, will also be kindly received. The couple have already received hundreds of cash donations totalling more than £10,000.
Ms Geernaert said she had cancelled a holiday to Rome, Italy, to free up time for the trip to Ukraine. In a Facebook post, she wrote: “As we know, the Ukrainian people and animals are desperate and in need of help. Families are fleeing to safety with their pets and very few belongings and supplies.” “We can’t even imagine how scary this is for these people and pets right now”, she added. “Many of us locally have wondered how we can help, now you can.”
Labour councillor for Paulton, Grant Johnson, has lent his support to the campaign. He wrote on Facebook: “If you can, please donate to this fantastic local initiative […] which will make sure families fleeing Ukraine with their beloved pets can get them the food they need to survive.
“I think all of us have been shocked at the devastation being caused in Ukraine and heartbroken to see families torn from their loved ones. This is one of many aid appeals you will see but uniquely targeted at supporting the pets that will be comforting owners as they make the most perilous journeys of their life. I will give Kate and Clint all my support with this project, and wish them the best of luck.”
(Story source: Berkshire Live)