If you can spare a few pounds, please help our Seafield pets home - Susan Dalgety

News that the Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home down at Seafield has seen a big increase in the number of animals being given up for adoption is hardly surprising.

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has seen a "dramatic increase" in the number of pets being surrendered by owners.
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has seen a "dramatic increase" in the number of pets being surrendered by owners.

The cost of living crisis means that some families and old folk will simply not be able to afford to feed or care for their much-loved pet. It will be a heart-breaking decision.

I still feel sad when I recall re-homing Dusty, our beautiful, if rather timid, grey moggy. A significant change in our living arrangements meant that half the week there would be no-one to care for her, so we had no choice but to find a new home for her. But it was a heart-breaking decision.

And it is only now – 14 years later – that we are planning to get a new cat, and I cannot wait. But I know that looking after a pet is expensive. According to the animal charity PDSA, a cat costs at least £70 a month to look after properly, so I will have to sacrifice something in order to afford a kitten.

Little wonder then that the Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home offers a food bank service for pet owners. It provides pet food to 54 food banks across Scotland, but at a cost of an eye-watering £10,000 a month.

For many people, particularly those living on their own, a pet is an essential part of their life. Humanitarian and trauma surgeon David Nott, who worked in Aleppo, tells a wonderful anecdote about a lunch he had with the Queen shortly after his return from the war-torn city.

She quickly realised his distress at talking about his time in Syria, so she quietly shared some dog biscuits with him, and for the rest of the meal they fed the corgis at her feet, while she talked about her love of dogs and they stroked the pampered pooches.

As his anxiety ebbed, she turned to him and said, “There, that’s so much better than talking, isn’t it.”

Dogs and cats are precious to their owners, so if you can spare a few pounds, please think about making a donation to the Edinburgh Cat and Dog Home so they can help keep pets and their owners together.

David Nott foundation: https://davidnottfoundation.com/syria-to-gaziantep/