The RSPCA in Northampton is appealing for pet food donations as the food bank scheme comes under increasing demand due to cost of living pressures.
RSPCA Northamptonshire branch donates pet food to their local food bank to ensure that owners who have fallen on hard times can still feed their pets.
The branch has been donating pet food in this way for the last few years.
Dawn Smith from the branch, said: “Sadly, it seems as though the cost of living increase means that more people are struggling to afford to feed their pets and are relying on the food banks more and more.
“We set up the scheme because we understood that many people were falling on hard times and we wanted to make sure that those who were struggling could still stay with their pets whilst they got back on their feet.
“We are now bracing for an influx of abandoned pets or 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 will be able to provide some support to people and their much-loved pets.”
It comes as the RSPCA releases its groundbreaking inaugural report, in partnership with the Scottish SPCA - the Animal Kindness Index - which looks at the nation’s attitude towards animals.
The report, based on a YouGov survey of more than 4,000 UK adults*, revealed that the rising cost of living and the cost of pet ownership could threaten our love for our pets, with 72% of pet owners saying they think the cost of living will impact their animals, almost 70% expressing concern that the cost of care was increasing, and a fifth worried about how they’ll afford to feed their pets. The study showed cat owners seem to be most impacted and concerned about cost of living pressures.
In the East Midlands, 70% of people said that the cost of looking after their pet had become more expensive over the last 12 months while 27% said they were worried about being able to afford to properly care for their pet and 17% said they were worried about the cost of feeding their pets.
The RSPCA has around 150 branches and many of them have their own food bank partnership, delivering donated pet food to those who need it to improve animal welfare and help the local community.
The RSPCA is seeing an increase in rescued animals coming into its care with many centres already full and others close to capacity, at the same time as rehoming is slowing down and signs that more people are looking to give up their pets.
Research by the charity shows in April 2021 there were around 4,400 searches per month around ‘giving up pets’* and in April 2022 this figure rose by 50% to a high of 6,600.
To support RSPCA Northamptonshire visit: Northamptonshire Branch - Home - rspca.org.uk - RSPCA
Or donate pet food at RSPCA Community Welfare Hub, Unit 3, The Newton Centre, 7 Newton Road, Rushden NN10 0PS.