Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home needs you! Please help 140-year-old animal rescue centre cope with sky-high costs – Christine Grahame
Then, one day, dad came home from work and from inside his jacket appeared the soon-to-be-named puppy, McGonagall. He came into a large noisy family with no experience of bringing up a dog which I think led to him being a bit of a bad-tempered “cross” terrier.
We promised to walk him but the novelty soon wore off and it became a bit of a chore. These were the days of the song, How Much is that Doggie in the Window. Today it’s more of how much is that doggie on Gum Tree but it remains the same; the age-old urge to have a dog.
I say this having had the privilege in later years of bringing up my sons with the wonderful Roostie, a kindly Irish setter who broke our hearts when she died of cancer aged only eight. I still have her collar and leash. Since then, because of work commitments, I have had a series of long-lived cats, the current being rescue cat Mr Smokey (also loved to bits).
However the trouble with fluffy puppies and endearing kittens is that charming often changes into challenging, as they become destructive adolescents and then difficult adults.Covid and the understandable need for companionship led to an upsurge in, especially, dog ownership. With many folk now back out and about and the return to normality, novelty has, for some, turned into nuisance, and some pets end up in the care of animal rescue centres. Today that is made worse by the hike in the cost of living which has seen the price of dog and cat food soar.
So, some heartbroken owners, unable to even feed and heat themselves, are surrendering much-loved pets into rescue centres, which brings me to the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. We mainly take for granted this landmark rescue centre which has been part of Edinburgh for at least 140 years. Demand grows daily for their services, phone calls are increasing, while it also supports human foodbanks with supplies such as pet food, blankets and leads.
Last month alone there were more than 2,600 pets kept, with their families as far as Fife, Falkirk and the Borders. Did you know that? Now, just as your energy costs hit the roof, so do theirs. Recently the home received the costs of its electricity and gas for the next year and these have increased by 205 per cent and 576 per cent respectively, amounting to £130,000 of funding that it had not anticipated needing to find, added to the £200,000 in increased supplier costs.
Yet it continues with its dedicated staff to care for animals, no matter the cost to them personally. But these energy costs will put the home on its knees. Its motto is “Love without Limits” and those of us who have a pet or had one in the past know exactly how that feels. So give, if you can in these tough times, to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, which wholly depends on donations, through its website edch.org.uk.
Christine Grahame MSP is a patron of the home and chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Animal Welfare