Without Us: A message from our CEO, Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine

CEO, Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, reflects on the challenges of last year and those who help us keep going.
image of cat's hind paws hopping down off camera, a banner runs across the right hand side saying 'we go on and on and on' and graphic text says 2023 in the bottom right corner

It’s normal to hear a phone ringing in an office isn’t it, it’s expected. What you might not expect is that every time our front line team pick up the phone they have no idea how difficult and distressing that call may turn out to be.

Each call will often have a different challenge to talk through but no matter what it will always come down to the fact a pet is caught up in the crisis and difficulty their owner is experiencing. Anything ranging from relationship breakdowns, moving into temporary accommodation, needing to work extra jobs to make ends meet or mental health challenges.

Not only are these calls difficult and upsetting to navigate they are increasing at an alarming rate for the Home, with a 236% increase from this time last year.

The reality is we no longer have a phone line, it is in fact a help line. A horrifying fact I contend with every time I hear the phone ring as I pass by. I see the worry etched on the faces of the team as they try their best to support those owners turning to us for support. Our team know that they can’t help everyone that calls and that eats away at them and at all of us at the Home.

Our work centres on protecting loving homes, finding loving homes and running a loving home.

This is what we get up each day to work towards but with such influxes of numbers and such staggering need deeply entrenched across the communities we support it’s hard to understand how the Home can meet this demand while facing the hardships that the cost-of-living crisis has brought to our own doors.

small dog and owner embracing on left hand side of the image, a banner in the top right corner says 'we find loving homes' and text in the bottom right corner says 'rehomed 233 animals, now happily settled into their forever homes'

Our winter appeal this year centres on the message of ‘without us’.

I spend a huge amount of time wondering about a world in which there wasn’t Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home to answer these thousands of calls from pet owners in distress. To take in the hundreds of dogs and cats in need. We only see in person a small proportion of those calls because of the scale of numbers in need and the physical capacity we have to take dogs and cats in.

In reality its not those who are here with us who occupy my thoughts, I already know how great the care is that they receive. It’s those not yet here, who without us I don’t dare to think about what they are going through. For those who have come through our doors there is love, rehabilitation and the hope of a new home. For those pets and their owners who we haven’t been able to help yet I know the anguish, heartache and desperation will not have gone away.

dog raising a paw in the right side of the screen, banner in the top left says 'love without limits' text in the bottom left corner says '587,832 meals provided through donations to food banks'

We know that, with the generosity of our supporters, we have helped to feed tens of thousands of pets and kept them with their families last year alone.

We know what it means for those going through these challenges to keep their families whole, with so many relying on their pets for companionship, comfort and a feeling of being loved. That is not something easily lost without a fight and the Home across East and Central Scotland is in that fight to protect those homes.

We can’t do that without you because without us these pets and their owners would be facing more heartbreak and difficulty. Thank you to everyone who has supported the Home over this past year, it’s been some of our most difficult times, but you have helped to light the path forward for us.

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