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RSPCA Ashford cattery opens pet food bank amid cost of living crisis


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An RSPCA cattery has launched a pet food bank in a bid to help people struggling with the cost of living crisis.

The Ashford Garden Cattery in Station Road is offering pet food parcels to anyone in the borough who is finding it tough.

The team at Ashford Garden Cattery have been busy making pet food parcels for cats and dogs
The team at Ashford Garden Cattery have been busy making pet food parcels for cats and dogs

To be able to get a pet food parcel, pet owners must get a referral form from their vets, the Salvation Army, Age UK, or an RSPCA inspector.

"If pet owners are struggling to afford pet food, we want to be able to offer it to them so they can keep their animals," animal care assistant Rachel Sinden said.

"We found that recently with the cost of living going up, people are really struggling to afford their pets.

"You can't afford your heating, or to feed your children let alone your pets so unfortunately the first thing people give up is their animals.

"That leads to rescue centres being full to the brim with animals.

Due to only just opening, the team are going to assess whether they need to amend their opening times so that people who work during the day can pick up their pet food parcels
Due to only just opening, the team are going to assess whether they need to amend their opening times so that people who work during the day can pick up their pet food parcels

"We want to break the cycle as much as we can."

Pet food parcels are available for cats, big and small dogs, and the team are hoping for donations of small animal food too.

Cattery manager Lisa Dennis said: "We're helping everyone in the borough, not just those on benefits. It's for people who are working too.

"There's a stigma that we're only helping people who are on benefits but we are helping everybody."

The team said that a few weeks ago they had a young cat left in a carrier on their doorstep, possibly due to an unaffordable vet bill for the owner.

Lisa Dennis, Debbie Lepine and Rachel Sinden are happy that the pet food bank is finally open, especially during such a financially difficult time for so many people
Lisa Dennis, Debbie Lepine and Rachel Sinden are happy that the pet food bank is finally open, especially during such a financially difficult time for so many people

"We've had lots of pets come in with complicated vet bills," Ms Sinden said.

"What should have been an £80 bill to get this cat neutered turned out to be £250 due to complications."

The pet food bank is currently open every Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm.

The cattery relies on volunteers like Charlotte to spend time with the cats and kittens in the cattery's care
The cattery relies on volunteers like Charlotte to spend time with the cats and kittens in the cattery's care
One of the kittens in the cattery this week
One of the kittens in the cattery this week
To make a donation to the pet food bank, the cattery can be contacted on 01233 646855
To make a donation to the pet food bank, the cattery can be contacted on 01233 646855

The cattery can also be contacted about pet food donations on 01233 646855 or emailed on lisa@rspca-ashforddistrict.org.uk.

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