Couples Campaign to Save Pet Boarding, Pet Business World UK’s Pet Trade News & Events
Eran Yehudai, co-owner of Crowbank Kennels and Cattery near Glasgow
A couple who run a kennel and cattery have launched a nationwide campaign calling for vital government support for the industry.
Called SOCKS – Save Our Catteries and Kennels – the campaign highlights the plight of cattery and kennel owners across the UK who are being “crushed” by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fiona and Eran Yehudai of Crowbank Kennels and Cattery near Glasgow have, like many others, suffered a drop in business due to customers being unable to holiday during the coronavirus pandemic. There is also less demand for pet daycare as more people work from home.
Fiona said: “We are an industry that is really dying out. We’re just very, very stuck and there doesn’t seem to be a way forward. »
As the couple heard of others suffering the same fate, they undertook their own survey of 150 cattery and kennel businesses and discovered horrific statistics.
The survey revealed that 70% of these companies were facing a reduction in activity of between 75% and 95%. Every respondent said they lost a substantial amount of business and 8% said they lost everything.
Fiona said: “Many of these businesses are facing permanent closure and financially time is running out for them.
“This will obviously have a significant ripple effect on animal care and welfare because when travel resumes there will be a shortage of well-regulated and licensed care available to pet owners.”
The SOCKS campaign is asking for financial support to the same degree as other businesses in the hospitality, tourism and travel sectors, which have access to enhanced subsidies and tax breaks.
Fiona says that although many MPs already contacted have expressed “moderate support”, it has not resulted in any action. She has been lobbying the Scottish and UK governments since the autumn and the response has been from both that, since they were not legally required to close, they have been excluded from the ‘substantial aid packages’ available to those who l were.
It has also set up a parliamentary petition, which to date has 25,000 signatures.
“At 10,000 signatures, we received a response saying we had adequate access to aid, but the results of my investigation contradict this claim!” said Fiona.
SOCKS has its own Facebook page, as well as a website with resources to help supporters and a link to the online petition. To visit www.socks.org.uk