A cat and dog shelter has taken in more pets than ever as families struggle “to make ends meet” amid the cost of living crisis.
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home revealed they have received a “staggering” 1,208 surrender requests this year so far.
The dramatic increase in demand has left the home unable to take in 85.8% of requests.
The organisation said that major factors in the increase come from the high number of pets adopted during the Covid pandemic and the stark increase in living costs in recent years.
The home revealed that since January of this year, more 561 enquiries have been made by families “struggling to make ends meet” and seeking support to help keep their pets at home, a 33% increase from 2022.
Meanwhile the home’s food bank service across east and central Scotland has seen a 39.4% increase in demand from last year.
However, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has already helped find 148 dogs and 72 cats new loving homes this past year as well as helping to keep 4,500 pets with their owners through community support services.
Among the pets who have been supported this year was a cat named Piper, who came to the home heavily pregnant and living outside as a stray.
She was brought to the home by a couple who had seen her in their neighbourhood for a few months and had attempted to find her owner via Facebook and various other groups to no avail.
When they noticed that Piper’s belly was getting bigger, they put it down to a potential health problem and decided to bring her in.
It turned out that the couple brought her to the home just in time, as Piper gave birth to four healthy kittens that evening.
Just a few months later, Piper has been happily rehomed with vet nurse Lauren, who fell in love with Piper when she visited Lauren’s vet practice for mastitis treatment after giving birth, and then again to be spayed.
Lauren said: “It just feels like my life wasn’t complete without having a cat and she’s just fitted in so well, I feel like it was meant to be.
“She’s honestly amazing. I love her little personality, she’s independent but so friendly and affectionate as well, she’s the perfect cat.”
Piper’s kittens, who were named Snowflake, Calico, Atreyu and Maya, are all doing well and went on to their own loving homes.
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 like Piper.”
As winter hits, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home will struggle as higher costs drain funds while the demand for their services increases.
To help get through the winter months, the home recently launched a Winter Appeal, seeking donations to enable the site to cope with the increased demand, continue providing vital support to animals in need and help people to keep their beloved pets at home.
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