RSPCA Ashford cattery opens pet food bank amid cost of living crisis
An RSPCA cattery has launched a pet food bank to help people struggling with the cost of living crisis.
Ashford Garden Cattery in Station Road is offering pet food parcels to anyone in the borough who is struggling.
To qualify for a pet food parcel, pet owners must obtain a referral form from their veterinarian, the Salvation Army, Age UK or an RSPCA inspector.
“If pet owners are struggling to afford pet food, we want to be able to offer it to them so they can keep their pets,” said Rachel Sinden, animal care assistant.
“We’ve seen that recently, with the rising cost of living, people are really struggling to afford their pets.
“You can’t afford heating, or feed your children let alone your pets, so unfortunately the first thing people give up is their pets.
“This leads to rescue centers being filled to the brim with animals.
“We want to break the cycle as much as possible.”
Pet food packages are available for cats, large and small dogs, and the team is hoping for small animal food donations as well.
Cattery manager Lisa Dennis said: “We help everyone in the borough, not just those on benefits. It’s also for working people.
“There is a stigma that we only help people who are on benefits, but we help everyone.”
The team said that a few weeks ago a young cat was left in a carrier on their doorstep, possibly due to an unaffordable vet bill for the owner.
“We’ve had a lot of pets with complicated vet bills,” Ms Sinden said.
“What should have been an £80 bill to have this cat neutered turned out to be £250 due to complications.”
The Pet Food Bank is currently open every Wednesday from 1-3 p.m.
The cattery can also be contacted about pet food donations on 01233 646855 or email [email protected]