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Hard up Edinburgh owners are having to give up their cats or dogs because they cannot afford to feed them, rescuers have warned.

And even the work of Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home is under threat as donations of pet food are dwindling during the cost-of-living crisis.

Edinburgh Live went to the rescue centre and spoke to Jamie Simpson, Director of people and services. He highlighted the issue of dwindling donations.

The centre costs £3,000,000 to run each year and they gave out 670,000 food packs in 2023. By April 2024 they had already given 250,000 packs. Jamie says: “We will 100% surpass what we gave out last year”.

He talks about how the pet food bank came about. He says: “We started our pet food banks in 2019 and obviously didn’t know there was a pandemic right around the corner. We offer ‘Paws and Claws’ which is our dog and cat food packs. That is when people can come in and pick up cat or dog food and we also offer leads, beds, toys, anything they need.”

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He continues: “We realised in 2020 off the back of the pandemic particularly that even if you were coming here to pick up the packs, and struggling financially, you may not be driving and struggle to carry lots of food that may be heavy. So we reached out to local food banks and said ‘Look you provide human food, do some people that use your services need pet food too?’ and overnight I think it was 14 food banks that said yes please.”

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