Owners ‘go without’ to feed their dogs and cats as demand for pet food banks soars | United Kingdom | New

The increase comes amid fears that the soaring cost of living could force more people to give up their pets. Animal charity Blue Cross already has four pet food banks and plans to roll out more across the country.

Meanwhile, the Pet Food Bank Service in Wales said the number of owners turning to them for help is growing every month.

Last year it provided 51,000 pet meals and so far this year it has already reached 47,000. Visits to their website also doubled in June before doubling again in July.

Debi Emmett, who runs the Cardiff-based service, said she has heard of people going without to provide for their pets.

Ms Emmett said: “People say things like I wouldn’t wonder but I will for my animals.

“People have gone to the human food bank to get things like rice, pasta, burgers, sausages, all kinds of meat products that they can share with their pets among themselves.

“We had a lady, basically all she had was pasta and that’s what she fed her dog. She knew it wasn’t the best thing for it but that’s all it was. she had. That one pretty much broke me because that said that’s all she has as well.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say my pet has everything it needs, I’m getting by.”

Ms Emmett, who is raising money for a warehouse to expand her pet food bank, said she was working “hard” to meet the surge in demand.

She added: “Obviously we’re never going to meet all the demands the way things are going, especially if we go into the recession that’s predicted.

“But we can help a lot because at the moment all the shelters are full, so any animal that we can stop going there and keep them at home where they are loved and belong, that’s great.”

Blue Cross currently has pet food banks at its drop-in centers in Sheffield, Manchester and Exeter, as well as at its animal hospital in Grimsby.

The amount of wet food distributed from January to July this year at the charity’s Sheffield pet food bank is 500 per cent higher than the same period in 2021, when there are had a jump of 31 for dry food.

The number of one-time users increased by approximately 25% and the number of repeat users nearly doubled.

Rebecca Adams, 39, uses the Blue Cross pet food bank in Grimsby for her two Staffordshire Bull Terriers called Sasha, who needs a special diet, and Teddy.

Miss Adams, who lives in Grimsby, said without the service she would struggle to cover her electricity and gas bills as well as buy her own food.

She said of her pet Sasha: “She’s my baby, she comes before me. She gets along with everyone and I love her to bits. She loves her walks.”

Chris Burghes, chief executive of Blue Cross, highlighted the importance of pet food banks in preventing dogs and cats from being abandoned in shelters when they have loving homes.

He said: “We launched our first pet food bank in Sheffield after speaking to food bank organizers for people and hearing a need for pet food.

“At our animal hospital in Grimsby, veterinary nurses were hearing stories of clients sacrificing their own meals to provide for their pets.

“For some, it’s a much-needed temporary support while they get back on their feet, but for others, pet food banks are an essential way to keep owners and their pets healthy. beloved company together.

“We aim to open more pet food banks in other parts of the country soon.”

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