A vet charity has warned of a pet poverty crisis as many owners struggle with the financial impact of the pandemic.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) said more than 66,000 pets in Scotland have benefited from free and low-cost vet care since the initial lockdown began back in March.
But it has now had to launch a Pet Care Crisis Emergency Appeal to raise funds so it can continue to care for animals across the country.
Between March and September this year, PDSA hospitals and clinics in Scotland carried out 62,873 remote consultations, 1078 essential or emergency operations, and 2519 X-rays for pets whose owners can no longer afford vet fees.
Jan McLoughlin, PDSA director general, said: “This winter, we’re facing the biggest challenge in our history. We’re experiencing unprecedented demand for our services.
“During this time, pets have become more important than ever for so many people – providing companionship and comfort and alleviating isolation. But the financial impact of the pandemic is starting to bite.
“No pet owner should be faced with losing a beloved pet because they can no longer afford to pay for treatment. And no pet should suffer because of poverty.
“I’ve not known a pet care crisis like it in the 19 years I’ve been at PDSA.
“Without charitable support from the public, our PDSA Pet Hospitals in Scotland may not be able to meet this additional demand for our services.”