Team at North East animal charity Farplace sends aid mission to help pets arriving with refugees from Ukraine

A North East animal charity is sending a mercy mission to Ukraine to help the pets of those fleeing the Russian invasion.
A Farplace van is heading to Poland with supplies to help pets of refugees.A Farplace van is heading to Poland with supplies to help pets of refugees.
A Farplace van is heading to Poland with supplies to help pets of refugees.

The plight of refugees arriving on the borders of neighbouring countries has seldom been far from the headlines in recent weeks, and many Ukrainian’s have been seen carrying their pets with them on their journeys.

Like Britain, Ukraine is a nation of animal lovers.

Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov, who has been vocal in the media about the plight of Ukraine, told how his brother packed up the family pets to escape, explaining how refugees were very reluctant to leave animals behind, adding how animals proved a comfort to people in desperate times.

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There have been scenes of bowls of water and pet food left out at train stations for arriving refugees, who have come with cats, dogs, and even hamsters.

While aid missions are collecting and delivering supplies to help humans fleeing war, North East charity Farplace is collecting to help their animals.

Gareth Edwards, chief executive of Farplace, said: “Our shop area manager Caroline and her dad, who is a long distance lorry driver, are taking a Fareplace Animal Rescue van full of animal feed, blankets and carry baskets to a charity in Poland near the Ukraine border to help animals in need following the war.

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“On Wednesday, we are picking up from these shops and loading the van.”

Gareth said the van leaves the North East on Thursday with the donations, and will head down to Ipswich, before taking a ferry from Harwich to the Netherlands.

He said: "Once arrive in Holland, they will be driving through the night to get to Fredropol in Poland. There they will meet up with (international agency) Network for Animals, unload the van and turn round.”

Farplace runs a shelter in County Durham for rescued animals from the North East and beyond.

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To help support the shelter, it operates charity shops across the region, as well as organising vegan festivals, including the North East Vegan Festival at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.

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