A perfect storm, created by the increase of pet ownership during the Covid pandemic and the financial devastation of the cost-of-living crisis, has hit UK rescues with record numbers of homeless pets. Among them is the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, who have taken in more pets than ever before in 2023.
“So far this year, the Home has received a staggering 1,208 surrender requests (898 dogs and 479 cats). The dramatic increase in demand has left the Home unable to take in 85.8% of the requests,” the charity says in a statement.
“Additionally, since January 2023, more than 561 enquiries, a 33% increase from last year, have been made by families struggling to make ends meet and subsequently seeking support to help keep their pets at home, and the Home’s food bank service across East and Central Scotland has seen a 39.4% increase in demand from last year.”
But not everything is so bleak: Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home’s staff and volunteers were able to help 148 dogs and 72 cats find new homes for life this past year, keeping over 4,500 pets with their owners through community support services such as pet food banks, educational content and training, and other outreach services.
Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine, CEO of Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, said, “Thanks to the hard work of our team, the support of volunteers who have donated almost 2,000 hours over the course of the past year, and the generosity of the people of Edinburgh and beyond for their kind donations, we have been able to help many pets through preventative community work and by caring for and rehoming animals who come to us.
“However, to help us keep on top of the unprecedented increase in demand, now more than ever we’re relying on funding from public donations to enable us to support owners going through hard times to stay together with their pets, or rehabilitate and rehome pets.”
To help get through the winter months, the Home recently launched a Winter Appeal, seeking donations to enable the Home to cope with the increased demand. To make a donation and to read more of their life-altering stories please visit www.edch.org.uk/winterappeal OR text SURRENDER to 70560 to donate £5.