A children’s book that was written to describe how animals were cared for during the Pigeon Valley fires has raised $5000 for local charity groups.

‘But who’s looking after the animals’, written by local author Renee Lang and illustrated by Polly Rabbits, is inspired by the animal lovers and animal welfare agencies who created a safe haven for pets and farm animals when fires blazed across Pigeon Valley and forced thousands to evacuate their homes.

Renee Lang says that after she worked to raise money for food for animals that were being cared for in the Richmond Showgrounds, she had the idea to write a children’s book, detailing how animals were cared for while the devastating fire raged on.

“It was published in September last year, the whole thing from concept to publication only took us about four months,” Renee says.

“I had the idea for the book, and I’ve worked on and off with Polly for a few years – I approached her, and here we are.”

Nearly $5000 was raised from books sales since September last year, with half being donated to the Nelson Ark and half going to HUHA, which is a charitable trust dedicated to helping animals, who were heavily involved in the effort to temporarily rehome animals during the fires.

Nelson Ark administrator Karen Howieson says that the Nelson Ark is ‘incredibly grateful’ for the donation.

“It was incredibly exciting, and we really appreciate the work that Polly and Renee have done,” she says.

“We really appreciate the support. It’s so important that children can learn that all beings are important, and to acknowledge the work that everybody did in keeping the animals safe in a very difficult time.”

There are still copies available, which can be purchased from their website www.butwhoslookingaftertheanimals.nz

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