Lucie Mountain runs Paw Runner, which encourages the wellbeing of both humans and their hounds, so she knows the heartbreak Ukrainians are facing when they are forced to leave their beloved pets behind.
She said: “Many Ukrainian families are trying to escape Ukraine with their pets in hand, but there are others who have had to leave their beloved pets behind on the streets.
“Many dogs and cats are confused and scarred; it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see.
“We can’t sit back and watch this heartbreaking situation of these poor innocent dogs and cats. I am a ‘woman with a van’ so I decided to put it to good use and drive pet supplies and pet food over to the Ukraine border.”
Lucie launched the Lending a Paw to Ukraine appeal and asked for donations of dog and cat food, collars and leads, blankets, harnesses, dog bowls and pet cages to safely transport dogs across the borders – and she wasn’t disappointed.
Lucie said: “We have been completely overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness and generosity.
“This mission started out with the hope of just me and my van delivering donations to Poland, and now I have at least seven van loads – it is amazing.”
Last Thursday, Lucie set off to drive to Poland and hand the packed van-load of goods to the charity Viva, which is working with the refugee stations in Warsaw and also on the Ukraine border, alongside Animal ID, who are taking food into Ukraine for the animal shelters, as well as bringing injured animals to their rescue centre in Poland.
Further lorries of aid will be heading out shortly.
Lucie said: “Thank you so, so, so much for the amazing support. I just can’t thank everyone enough for their kindness and generosity.
“Thanks also to Lincoln Polish School who have been providing me with ongoing pet food and pet supply donations.
“We are all in this together to make some very happy tails wag as we bring love, hope and a life line to the animals of Ukraine. For this I am forever grateful.”