You may know Kate best from her dog shop and café, The Dog Lover Shop & Coffee Stop, situated on The Island in Midsomer Norton, which opened in June this year.
To every human that walks through the door, Kate provides a warm welcome, but the real joy that lights up Kate’s world is the four legged friend often seen trotting through the door behind them (or often pulling their owners in)!
Kate has been a dog-dedicated local business owner since December 2020 when she opened The Dog Groomery on Paulton High Street. Kate’s care and compassion for dogs can be seen in all that she does to make our precious pooches feel paw-fect, and was truly cemented in March 2022 when she cancelled a holiday to Rome with her partner to instead travel to the Ukraine border to transport a van full of animal food for abandoned pets and animal shelters, left behind after families were forced to flea the war-torn country.
After raising a whopping £40k in donations of food and warm supplies with help from the amazing animal-loving local community, Kate and partner Clint set off together with the charity ‘Dogbus’ to provide aid to animals in need. Upon returning to the UK, Kate continued working with the charity to help support them in looking after the one hundred dogs now in their care, though due to unforeseen circumstances, the charity was disbanded. Following this, the rescued dogs were kindly taken in by UK based charity War Paws who have a sanctuary in Iraq for over seven hundred animals.
Ever since, Kate has been very much involved in providing support to War Paws, vowing to continue to help the one hundred animals close to her heart after visiting them in their Romanian shelter a few times. Most recently, Kate joined forces with Bryony — who, on behalf of War Paws, cares for the dogs in kennels in west Wales, looking after five dogs at a time, all that they have funds and room for — to organise a fundraiser climb to the top of Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. Kate made yellow ‘adopt me’ bandanas for all the dogs who took part in the walk and were looking for homes, and purple ‘War Paws’ alternatives for those who were already in loving homes, to raise awareness for the charity.
The gang were made up of around thirty strong with ten hailing from the Somer Valley and the rest coming along with Bryony. The group were stopped on numerous occasions by passers-by on the walk, and many had positive comments and donations to put forward to their collection pot.
Kate told The Journal: “The rescue dogs absolutely loved it, and probably had the best day of their lives!”
Through combined efforts, the group managed to raise a total of £905 towards their initial £850 target. After the climb, Kate was on hand to reward everyone with a treat — a ‘Pawpachinno’ for the pooches and a cake for their humans!
Though the climb has already happened, there are still plenty of ways to get involved with War Paws’ fundraising efforts. The charity is running a Christmas raffle which includes prize donations from over forty businesses, worth over five thousand pounds in total. Prizes include an iPad, three night stay in a log cabin, and a pair of 18-carat white gold diamond earrings. Local businesses have happily got involved with this too, thanks to Kate raising awareness, with more prizes coming from the Somerset Toiletry Co. and Green & Wild’s of Chippenham. Raffle tickets cost ten pounds and the winners will be drawn on the 1st of December. Tickets can be purchased online via: raffall.com/343350/enter-raffle-to-win-war-paws-super-raffle-hosted-by-war-paws
With a pack of over seven hundred dogs in their care (forty of which remain from the original one hundred Ukrainian dogs that face another cold winter in a Romanian shelter), War Paws are urgently looking for more fosterers and adopters. War Paws are dedicated to finding the best match between human and dog; they take answers from their bespoke lifestyle form to make sure that the right dog is sent to a suitable foster home. More information about the fostering and adoption process can be found online at: https://warpaws.org/adoptions-fostering/, though if you’d prefer to speak to a friendly face, you can pop in to The Dog Lover Shop & Coffee Stop and chat to Kate, who would be more than happy to explain more about the procedure — the shop has an adoption wall dedicated to those looking for fur-ever homes and you may even get to meet Kate’s foster dog Casey while you’re there!