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Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home Warns of Pet Poverty Crisis

The Home has launched a campaign to raise awareness of a pet poverty crisis in Scotland.

The Pack in Pet Poverty campaign highlights a 77% rise in use of the Home’s pet foodbank, Paws Pantry, between 2020 and 2021, which has been expanded across East and Central Scotland in response to the demand.

The Home works with 52 foodbanks and community groups and provides essential pet food, collars, jackets, bedding and other care items to pet owners in need. Over 1,300 animals per month are now being cared for through this service.

Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, CEO at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said that while they are providing a vital service for the public, more needs to be done to solve the issues behind pet poverty. She said:

“Where there is a pet in crisis, there is often a person in crisis. We believe that the companionship of a pet is unrivalled for human wellbeing and something that everyone who can provide a stable and loving home deserves. Unfortunately, we hear stories on a daily basis of people having to choose between feeding themselves or their much-loved pet, and those living in fear that anything will go wrong because they just can’t afford the vet fees.

“Pet poverty is an indicator of how communities across the country and beyond are struggling to cope with the cost of daily life. We are proud to be helping thousands of pets and owners stay together each year, but we can’t solve this issue alone. Today we are supporting the Poverty Alliance’s call for changes to the benefits system so we can pack in pet poverty for good.”

The Home’s campaign is part of Challenge Poverty Week, led by the Poverty Alliance, which highlights how low incomes, high costs, lack of decent work, and lack of access to help and services the people need are affecting thousands of local households. The Home is supporting their call for wide-ranging government action, including delivery of the Minimum Income Guarantee, doubling of child benefit payments, increased investment in fuel poverty solutions and ensuring all employers are paying the real Living Wage.

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home Animal Champion and Lucy’s Law Campaigner, Marc the Vet (Marc Abraham OBE), joined the team today to lend his support for the campaign. He said:

“It’s great to see such awareness of pet poverty being raised in this way, to help prevent pet abandonment, and keep pets with their families if possible. This sets a whole new example of empathy, kindness, and compassion, to both pets and people, and makes me extremely proud to be Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s Animal Champion.”

Peter Kelly of The Poverty Alliance said:

“Too many people in Scotland are living with the constant pressure of living in poverty.

“As we plan our economic recovery, we must redesign our economy to reflect the values of justice and compassion we all share.

“By boosting people’s incomes and reducing the cost of living we can solve make sure we all have what we need.”

 

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