Fund will provide pet care vouchers to help keep people and pets together amid the cost-of-living crisis
The RSPCA’s work to support struggling pet owners has been given a boost thanks to funding from pet care company Purina.
The ‘Purina Better Together Fund’ will provide the RSPCA’s frontline officers with more scope to support owners amid the worsening cost-of-living crisis.
In an effort to keep pets and loving owners together during the hard times many are currently experiencing, Purina has pledged its support by contributing £40,000 to the RSPCA.
The Purina Better Together fund will allow RSPCA inspectors and rescuers to be able to offer help to those most in need, through pet care vouchers issued directly to owners in their homes, to enable them to pay for urgent vet treatments and other costs, which they otherwisecouldn’t afford.
As well as providing immediate help and relief to pets in need, it is also hoped that these on-the-doorstep interventions will help to prevent a pets’ condition worsening. The hope is that this will help pets stay in loving homes and also reduce the pressure faced by animal charities like the RSPCA from people who may have otherwise given up their pets. The fund aims to support around 450 dogs and cats and their owners.
The news comes at a crucial time as RSPCA research recently revealed that 78% of pet owners think the cost of living will impact their animals, and over a quarter (28%) were worried about being able to care for their pets*.
James Jackson, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the RSPCA said: “We share everyone’s concerns about the cost-of-living crisis, and we know this is already a very worrying time for people – especially those with much-loved family pets. As a charity, the RSPCA too is struggling with rising costs across our centres and hospitals, as well as veterinary costs and pet food.
“The Purina Better Together Fund couldn’t have come at a better time, and it will go a long way to helping our frontline teams support hundreds of pet owners out there who are or will be in the difficult position of not knowing where to turn to look after their beloved animals. Early intervention and financial support can help ensure that an owner doesn’t have to give up their beloved pet.”
Calum Macrae, Managing Director of Purina in the UK said: “As one of the UK’s leading pet food companies, we’re passionate about helping pet owners to keep their animals happy and healthy, and know first-hand how powerful the pet-human bond can be. We understand that times are incredibly tough for a lot of people, so we’re delighted to be able to work alongside the RSPCA to ensure people get the help they need and most importantly, keep pets and owners together.”
A pair who have already benefited from similar funding are 19 year old crossbreed dog Bonzo, and his elderly owner (pictured.) Bonzo was suffering from a worsening skin condition and an ear infection, but sadly due to his owner’s circumstances, Bonzo hadn’t been given veterinary treatment, and his welfare was suffering.
After concerns were raised with the RSPCA, Inspector Rosie Russon visited Bonzo and his owner at home. It was clear that the senior pooch was a much-loved companion, and the pair simply needed a helping hand to get on top of the issues.
After making five separate visits over an eight-week period, it was clear that Bonzo’s owner
had taken on board the advice and had been cleaning and treating his dog’s wounds which went on to completely heal. Rosie was pleased to report that the fur on Bonzo’s head had regrown and that his ear infection had cleared up too, ensuring that he could remain with his delighted owner.
James added: “We are living in unprecedented times and the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everybody, not to mention those who are already vulnerable or struggling financially. We know that the vast majority of pet owners would do anything to keep their beloved companions happy and healthy, and our animal-loving inspectors and officers are committed to doing everything they possibly can to help. That’s why Purina’s support is so incredibly vital.”
RSPCA advice for those struggling to care for their pets
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- Consider pet insurance to help cover vet bills
- Get pet training and behaviour advice from a reputable source eg. the RSPCA website
- Look into local charities and RSPCA branches to see if they can help by providing financial assistance or carrying out work such as neutering and microchipping in their own clinics.
- If your pet is unwell, don’t be tempted to use home remedies as many will be ineffectual and result in conditions getting worse and some could be fatal
- Look into credit-based payment plans if your pet is unwell
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