Cost of living: Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home seeing 'dramatic increase' in surrender of pets as cost of living rises
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home are taking in more and more pets, due to owners struggling with the cost of living.
Derek Stewart-Brown, Head of PR at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said he has seen “a dramatic increase” in the surrender of pets over the last few months. At the moment, the shelter is receiving up to half a dozen animals a day to look after.
Mr Stewart-Brown said that owners usually have multiple reasons for having to give up their pet – but the rising cost of living is a major one.
"It’s very much a last resort”, he said. “It’s heartbreaking for the owner, and for us.”
He added: “Sadly, I don't think the situation is going to get any better for the foreseeable future”.
However, there is some ‘good’ news – Mr Stewart-Brown noted that people are still coming forward to re-home pets, in spite of the cost of living crisis.
The staff and volunteers at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home believe that financial hardship should not stop someone from owning a pet. Mr Brown said: “Pets are so good for our physical and mental health. We don’t think there should be barriers to owning a pet”.
As well as taking in dogs and cats, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home run a Pet Food Bank. Since launching in 2019, the service has expanded rapidly, and now provides pet food and other essential items to 54 food banks across Central Scotland.
According to Mr Stewart-Brown, demand for the service is growing “on a daily basis”. When Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home started the pet food bank, it cost around £2,000 a month to run – but now it is paying £10,000 monthly to keep food banks in supply.
While the rescue centre is currently coping with demand, Mr Stewart-Brown has asked the public for their support.
“You can help in so many ways – you can re-home a pet, you can provide food for the food banks, or you can make a donation”, he said.
You can donate to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home by visiting https://edch.org.uk/donate/