Women raise funds for abandoned pets in Ukraine as demand continues

Whitney Jones

Whitney Jones | 27 Apr 2022, 10:39

A Stevenage card shop has teamed up with an international animal rescue organisation to help raise money for pets left behind in Ukraine. 

Cardies, an independent shop selling greeting cards and gifts, has been fundraising for AMA dog rescue to send supplies for the abandoned dogs in the war torn country.

Co-owner Jo Sorrell felt “totally useless” when the news of the war against Ukraine broke. After seeing a Facebook plea from Julie Sims and Angie Barry, Jo felt compelled to get in contact to set up a fundraising point in Stevenage.

She said: “Myself and Ellen Shepherd offered to be drop off points in Stevenage because a lot of people were wanting to try to help.”

Cardies is renowned for being a dog-friendly shop, even winning the award for the most dog friendly shop in the UK. 

The cause is close to Jo’s heart as she has rescued all of her dogs and has spent over 20 years volunteering with Labrador rescues.

Sally Farr, also from Stevenage, has been helping Jo with organising fundraisers including creating an Amazon wish list and an Easter egg hunt.

Through collections and fundraising, Julie Sims said they have been able to send four tonnes of pet supplies to Bacau, Romania, 20 miles from the Ukrainian border.

The donations are then distributed to a hotel in Suceava where refugees are sheltering with their pets, helped by the local Romanian AMA dog rescuer, Ana. 

Julie said: “The hotel are using their transport to pick up refugees with pets, children and giving them a safe space to decompress.”

She continued: “We haven’t actually raised huge amount of money. Our Go Fund Me at the moment is only at £180 and we were hoping to raise £1,500 because that will send another four tonnes (of donations) over.”

The team will continue fundraising into the summer and will have a charity stall at Stevenage Day on June 12.  

Jo said: “If a hundred people donate £1, that’s £100. It doesn’t have to be big amounts, if everybody gives a little then it makes a lot in the end.”

If you would like to donate to their fundraiser, visit https://gofund.me/b0fcbdbe.