Giving Tuesday: How supporting pet food banks supports Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home

Every day we speak to families struggling to make ends meet and subsequently seeking support from pet food banks to keep their pets at home. Since January 2023, we’ve had more than 561 enquiries for support, a 33% increase from last year.
Member of staff organising pet foodbank donations

What is a pet food bank? 

Like regular food banks, a pet food bank is where pet owners can pick up food and supplies for their pets that they can’t afford to buy themselves. Almost all the pet food banks we supply are attached to standard foodbanks and pantries so people can pick up what they need for their whole family at the same time.  

Our Community Outreach Lead, Kirsten told us that when she first started her job, many food banks didn’t understand the need for a pet service. Marie Johnson from the West Lothian Larder shared her surprise when they started working with us, ‘You have no idea how grateful people are to get the dog and cat food… My job is to source food/nappies/toiletries etc. to put in our wee Larder, I just didn’t realise the desperate need for dog & cat food!’ 

We now provide pet food to an ever-growing number of foodbank locations, including distributing Emergency Food Packs, which supply a week’s worth of dog and cat food for those who need it, from our own office.  

Why Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home supports pet food banks 

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home launched our pet in 2019 as part of our Beyond Our Wall Strategy 

We took a long look at how we can support our community and decided that we needed to delve deeper and look at the foundations of the problems they face. We looked beyond the reactive support we provide through rehoming services and thought about how we could offer preventative support to help keep loving homes whole, promote responsible pet ownership and raise awareness of pet poverty. Our pet food banks are one of the methods by which we do this.  

Since we started our first pet foodbank, the demand for our support has only grown. Accessing these vital supplies has made a huge difference to pet owners’ lives. One person told us, ‘I cannot put into words how much it means to have my dog with me at this difficult time, she is my baby! Thanks to the Home pet food bank I am no longer taking food from my plate to feed her. That is a big worry that has been lifted” 

Cat eating from a silver bowl

Where can I find an Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home pet food bank? 

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home supports 88 pet food banks across Scotland, from the Borders all the way to Stirling! You can find a map of their locations here.  

To pick up an Emergency Food Pack from our office, please call us at 0131 669 5331 to speak to a member of staff. 

How to support our pet food banks

The need for pet food bank support continues to grow and it can be challenging to meet this demand. We rely solely on the kindness of public donations and the generous support of volunteers to run our pet food banks.  

To support our work, you can:  

  • Donate small bags of dry dog and cat food and wet dog and cat food directly at the Home (26 Seafield Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 1EH) Monday to Sunday from 9am until 4pm 
  • Donate pet food online via our Amazon Wishlist  
  • Drop off donations locally at one of our Donation Stations 
  • Set up a Donation Station at your place of work or community space  
  • Keep an eye on our volunteer page to help out with pet food bank packing and deliveries  
  • Run a donation drive to help us collect vital supplies 

Supporting pet food banks supports our dogs and cats.  

By supporting our pet food banks with donations or through volunteering, not only are you helping to keep pets in loving families where they belong, but you’re also directly supporting the dogs and cats in our care.  

In 2023 alone we have received 1,208 surrender requests and sadly due to constraints with capacity, welfare or health and safety considerations, we’ve not been able to accept over 85% of these.  

There are many reasons why someone might no longer be able to take care of their pets and in some cases, surrendering a pet to us is the right decision. However, with the rising cost of living, it’s becoming harder for pet owners to make ends meet and people find themselves faced with impossible decisions. Pet owners have told us that they have had to miss meals themselves to feed their dogs and that without the support of pet food banks, they would have to give up their pets.  

Our aim for our pet food banks is to keep loving homes whole. We want to provide preventative, community-based support that will stop dogs and cats from coming through our doors in the first place. 

Help us support pet owners to avoid heartbreaking and impossible decisions by donating to pet food banks and supporting our Home today.  

Support our pet food banks

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