Demand for pet food banks is more than doubling in parts of the UK as the cost of living crisis wipes out family incomes, and now animal charities are preparing for an influx of abandoned animals.
The RSPCA He has said that the rising cost of living, from food prices to energy bills, means that more owners are finding it difficult to feed their animals and are increasingly dependent on pet food banks.
While rescue and resettlement centers report a rise in the number of animals arriving, they fear this is set to rise as more owners find they can no longer afford to care for their pets.
RSPCA spokeswoman Lucy Cooper said I: “Unfortunately, it appears that the increasing cost of living means that more and more people are struggling to feed their pets and are relying on food banks more and more.
“Now we are preparing for an influx of abandoned pets or their owners who have to give them up because they can no longer afford to keep them but we hope that through the food bank we can give some support to people and many of them love pets.”
She said the number of . has doubled[بت فوود]Delivery by inspectors to food banks from[رسبكا]Planned in recent months.
“In January 2022, the number was close to 6,000 meals for dogs and about 3,000 meals for cats,” she said, “By July of this year, that meal had increased to about 14,000 meals for dogs and 6,000 meals for cats.
“More than doubled and it’s huge!”
A recent report by the RSPCA in partnership with the Scottish SPCA has revealed that the cost of living crisis is the most pressing threat to pet care in the UK.
The Kindness With Animals Index showed that 78 percent of pet owners believed the cost of living would affect their animals, 68 percent were concerned about the increased cost of care, and 19 percent were concerned about how they would afford to feed their pets.
At the same time, the charity has seen a 24 percent increase in reports of animal abandonment this year.
From January to July 2021, there were 18,375 reports of abandonment compared to 22,908 in the first seven months of this year.
Jenna Jones, from Animal Rescue Center in BristolHe said, “We’ve seen an increase in requests from people wanting to sign their pets.
“Our waiting list is much longer than usual at this time of year, and while in the past one of the main reasons for signing up for their pets may have been their behaviour, there are now an increasing number of people who have given financial reasons – in particular the change in their housing situation. – as a reason for it.”
Staff at an animal charity blue cross He says four pet food banks in Manchester, Exeter, Grimsby and Sheffield are so busy that they are looking to expand with a new one planned in Newport, Wales.
Hannah Cardi, a veterinary nurse at Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby, said the pet food bank there currently helps about 40 families a week but is gradually getting busier each week with new people.
At the Sheffield site, the amount of dry pet food provided increased 31 percent in 2022 (through end of July) compared to the same period last year, and wet food was up 500 percent in 2022 (through end of July) compared to last year.
Ian Heaton, Executive Vice President of Blue Cross, said: I: “We know that many owners are struggling with a high cost of living, with our teams hearing stories from customers not providing food and care for their pets.
“We are concerned that the situation will get worse as costs increase further, so we are looking at ways we can expand our pet food bank service in other parts of the country to reach those in need.
“For some, pet food banks provide much-needed temporary support while they are on their feet again, but for others, pet food banks are a vital way to keep owners and their pets together.
“We want to do what we can to help keep the owners and their beloved pets loving together.”
Rebecca Adams uses a pet food bank at Blue Cross Animal Hospital in Grimsby.
Her Staffordshire bull terrier named Sasha is a regular in the hospital because the dog has a skin condition.
“She is my child, she comes before me,” said Mrs. Adams, “she gets along with everyone and I somewhat like her.”
But Sasha needs a special diet that includes biscuits at a cost of £50 to £60 at a time.
Enter a pet food bank to help make cookies and food bags.
Ms Adams said that without a pet food bank, she would have struggled to cover her electricity and gas bills and her own food costs.
Managed by Tina Banks Animal Shelter and Food (ALFS) In Hertford with a group of volunteers it started in 2019 shortly before the outbreak of the epidemic.
“We provide pet food to people so they can keep pets in their homes,” she said, “I get a lot of new referrals from food banks, and a lot of people are suffering.
“It will get to the point where we won’t be able to keep up with the demand.
“When I first started, we were handing out food parcels or three times a day.
“It’s now sometimes 10 to 15 a day. It’s an exceptional request.”
Pet food parcels, made up of donations, contain enough food for a month and are mostly for cats and dogs but can cover other small animals such as rabbits.
Although the organization originally covered Hertfordshire, the demand has seen an expansion to include Essex and Bedfordshire as well.
The demographics of those using it began to change with increasing pressures on the cost of living.
“When I first started working, a lot of people were getting long-term benefits or had long-term mental health issues,” Ms Banks said, adding: “Now I get people who work and can’t afford their pets.
“It’s really disturbing and some of the stories are really heartbreaking – seniors with elderly pets who can’t make ends meet and people with mental health issues where their pet is a lifeline.”
Amanda Brum, who runs the charity Animal Support Angels At Hemel Hempstead, she said she’s already noticed a growing demand for help from people struggling to feed their pets.
“We will see significant increases in this,” she warned.
veterinary charity PDSA She said she expects to see an increase in demand for her services this year.
PDSA Vet Lynne James said: “In 2021, we have supported more than 370,000 pets and their owners across 48 pet hospitals, and we expect demand for our services to rise as financial pressure tightens.”
I strongly advise those considering buying a pet to first research their needs and costs.
“Costs including food, preventative healthcare, accessories, and insurance can add up quickly, and that’s without counting unexpected vet bills should your pet become ill or get involved in an accident,” she said, “a large-breed dog, for example, can That cost £30,000 over their lifetime and cat owners can spend up to £24,000.”
She suggested that costs can be contained with preventive health care such as vaccinations and neutering to avoid future vet bills and said the best way to spoil your pet is to give them your time.
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