‘Pet welfare crisis’ prediction from PDSA
The financial impact of Covid-19 could lead to crisis levels of ‘pet poverty’ as owners who have hit hard times struggle to pay the costs associated with animal ownership.
That’s the stark warning from vet care charity, PDSA, which said recently that it had received record numbers of enquiries from pet owners who have been financially impacted by Coronavirus and the lockdown.
The charity, which provides free and low-cost vet care to owners who can’t pay the costs of treatment, predicts that there may be as many as 50,000 more pets eligible for its services in the months ahead directly as a result of economic hardship caused by the pandemic.
The number of people enquiring about help from the PDSA increased by 59 per cent during the summer. And enquiries at PDSA pet hospitals from owners eligible for the charity’s services, increased by a hefty 81 per cent over the same period.
Vet, Paul Manktelow, who works for the charity, says that the profession is witnessing the beginnings of a ‘pet welfare crisis’ because of Covid-19.
‘On average, we’re providing 2000 remote consultations every day to desperate pet owners in need,’ said Mr Manktelow. ‘For many sick and injured pets whose owners are struggling financially, PDSA is their only emergency service.’
PDSA has now launched a Pet Care Crisis Emergency Appeal aimed at raising vital funds so it can continue to care for pets during this crisis.
‘We never want to be in a position where we can’t be there for pets that need us,’ said Paul Manktelow. ‘2020 has been a hard year for everyone and the pandemic has impacted on all our lives, but innocent pets shouldn’t suffer as a result of their owners’ hardship. As a nation of pet-lovers, I hope people will support PDSA’s Emergency Appeal so that together we can reduce the impact of pet poverty caused by the pandemic.’