Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home Pet Poverty Parliamentary drop-in with TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher
Foysol Choudhury MSP at Edinburgh Cats & Dogs Home Parliamentary Drop
in with CEO Lindsay Fiffe-Jardine and Animal Campaigner and TV Presenter
Foysol Choudhury MSP recently visited the Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home in Seafield and attended their Pet Poverty Parliamentary drop-in session at the Scottish Parliament with animal campaigner and TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher.
After the event, Choudhury said, “Following my recent visit to Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home (EDCH) in Seafield in my constituency of Edinburgh Northern & Leith, I attended their parliamentary drop-in session yesterday supported by animal campaigner and TV Presenter Kirsty Gallacher at the Scottish Parliament.
“CEO Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine and her Team at EDCH have been doing tremendous work to alleviate pet poverty across the Lothian region and beyond, ensuring pet owners are not separated from their families.”
Choudhury stressed that many pet owners across Scotland have been struggling to keep their beloved pets at home as they can no longer pay for food, heat and vet bills particularly with the cost of living crisis which has exasperating the situation post-Covid.
This has been very traumatic for cat and dog owners whose pets are part of the family, providing them with joy, comfort and security.
He continued, “Edinburgh Dog and Cat home Pet Food Bank launched in 2019, provides pet food, jackets, blankets, leads, collars, bowls and bedding to those who can no longer afford their pets’ needs or care for them properly due to financial difficulties, an illness, homelessness or other social issues.
“It is important that we raise awareness that these Pet Food banks do exist and are there to support pet owners when needed. To guarantee pet supplies are available, EDCH has partnered up with 88 human food banks and has been supporting over 3,800 pets each month across the Lothians, Fife, Falkirk and The Borders.”
However, The Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has been struggling with the rising costs-of-living. CEO Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine reached out to Choudhury at the end of last year to make him aware of the significant challenges the Pet Home has been going through due the rising costs.
“In November last year, the Home was hit with a huge increase in annual electricity and gas costs– equating to £130K of unanticipated funding that Lindsay has been desperate to find. This is an addition to £200K needed to cover increased supplier costs,” he said.
These increases are unsustainable in addition to coping with the increase of pet owners having to give up their cats and dogs. Lindsay informed Choudhury that the phone calls are increasing seven days a week, with calls up 55% from December to January.
The energy and cost increases are exasperating an already struggling pet home, and animal charities like EDCH do not have the option to turn the lights and heating off. They have pets who need their care and rehabilitation as well as staff who need them to care for them while they carry out their mission both on the home’s site and right across East and Central Scotland.
EDCH has been working to exhaustion point to avoid a major pet crisis, keeping communities together, making sure that all pets are cared for and assuring owners can keep them to avoid the trauma of losing their beloved pet. Choudhury said, “We all know how our pets play a central part within our family lives, they give many who would find themselves completely lonely and isolated company and a reason to live for.
“In the past months, I have raised questions to the Scottish Government regarding the impacts of the cost crisis on pet ownership and I will continue to put pressure on them to ensure our pet homes avoid the prospect of closing.
“Our local animal shelters like EDCH need our support and we need to see practical action beyond donations to ensure the survival of this 140-year old animal shelter to keep our animals safe and sheltered, and avoid painful separation from their owners.”
If you are able to donate, donations can be made on Donate – Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home (edch.org.uk).