RSPCA teams up with Foodbank to provide vulnerable owners with food for their pets

Two London RSPCA branches have teamed up with their local Foodbank to help provide a regular supply of pet food to vulnerable owners during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The charity recognises that pets are very much a part pf our families. Some pet owners are concerned they may not be able to provide pet food if they become sick and need to self-isolate, cannot afford to but pet food, or if they are on-going food shortages. This means many people are turning to food banks for help.

The Wimbledon Foodbanks has joined forces with RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth & Sutton Branch as well as the RSPCA Balham & tooting Branch, forming an RSPCA Pet Foodbank team.

They will deliver pet food to those who need it and are calling on their kind supporters to help fund the initiative.

Over one million people have applied for Universal Credit since the Covid-19 lockdown began, and the charity understands that people may be worried about continuing to care for their much-loved pets. By providing people with pet food, the local branches hope they can do their bit to help people with their pets through this difficult time.

Ali Hellewell, RSPCA Trustee, Wimbledon, Wandsworth & Sutton Branch, said: “We know that this is a challenging time for everyone and that some pet owners are extremely worried about continuing to care for their pets through the Covid-19 crisis. We hope to ease some of that pressure by teaming up with the Wimbledon Foodbank to provide pet food for the pet owners who are most in need.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, we are a nation of animal lovers and the Foodbank has seen people in difficult times who have chosen to feed their pets over feeding themselves, which shows why this service is so important. We cannot do this alone, however, which is why we are asking animal lovers to donate to help us get pet food to those who need it the most.”

Jon Featherstone, Chair of the Wimbledon Food bank said: “We are currently providing three days of food packages for up to 150 people a day and we estimate that around 20% of those are pet owners. Ourselves and the RSPCA are keen to help people stay with their pets, who often provide much needed emotional support through this difficult time.”

Ali added: “We know now is the time for the community to pull together. WE are doing our bit to help pet owners across South London and are appealing for our kind supporters to help us, by making urgently needed donations via our Pet Foodbank Crowdfunder. The branches have already received generous donation of pet food from Pets at Home and we are in discussions with other businesses as well. We are working closely with Jon and the Foodbank network, with a view to expanding in various locations beyond South London over the next few weeks.”

If you can support the RSPCA Pet Foodbank team you can visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rspca-food-bank-covid-campaign