A hero dog groomer wants to drive to war-ravaged Ukraine with a van full of pet food.
Kate Geernaert, from Paulton in Somerset, is hoping to travel to the Polish border next week with her partner Clint Sheppard to give aid to refugees with animals fleeing the war, reports SomersetLive.
The pair are aiming to make their way across Europe with several vehicles from the charity Dogbus, taking the Eurotunnel shuttle to get to France before driving across Europe to the Ukrainian border.
Once they get to Poland, one of the vans will enter Ukraine to provide aid, while the rest will stay behind to help those who have crossed the border.
Kate has launched a public appeal for donations ahead of the journey, with a special need for large bags of dog and cat food, jerry cans, medical supplies, leads, carriers, dog coats and blankets.
Human aid, including first aid kits and warm clothes for children, will also be kindly received at the The Dog Groomery in Paulton, near Bath, ahead of Monday, March 7.
The couple say they have already received hundreds of cash donations totalling more than £10,000, while Ms Geernaert has cancelled a holiday to Rome to make time for the trip.
She wrote in a Facebook post: “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.
“Many of us locally have wondered how we can help, now you can.”
Labour councillor for Paulton, Grant Johnson, has offered his support to the campaign, saying on Facebook: “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.”
More than one million refugees have already departed Ukraine since the Russian invasion began 10 days ago, according to the UN refugee agency.
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