Thanks to a donation of hundreds of kilos of dog food RSPCA Sussex North is opening the second pet food bank in the county.
The donation from Pets at Home consists of 750 kilos of good quality dry dog food from their damaged stock scheme.
It is aimed at assisting the most vulnerable and needy in the Crawley and Horsham area – people who may have recently found themselves made redundant, on benefits or claiming another form of income related benefit and need help feeding their dog are eligible to claim a food parcel.
The food will be distributed from the RSPCA subsidised White Horse Veterinary clinic in Roffey.
The branch has no animal centres or kennels and currently no dogs in their care but really wanted to find a way of helping dogs.
RSPCA branch chair Jo Worsley said: “We know that when people want to give their dogs up, very often, if they can get a little bit of help, they are able to keep them.
“There is a need – we do have deprived areas in Crawley and Horsham – and we are interested in liaising with local food bank providers to let them know that this food bank for dogs is now available.”
The first pet food bank in Sussex was set up six months ago at RSPCA Brighton.
Jenny Wells, manager of the Patcham Animal Centre, explained: “We could see people were struggling with their animals in these tough economic times and this was a way we could help some of them and stop their animals ending up in a shelter.
“Since the food bank started we have helped 50 people but we have to be strict. You have to have fallen on hard times and this is not ongoing help, it is designed to help you over a crisis.
“We do carry out checks and occasionally ask RSPCA inspectors to visit the cats and dogs we are helping.
“And donations of food for the animals in our care never end up in the food bank.”
If you live in the Crawley and Horsham area and need a food parcel for your dog please call 01403 251954.
The RSPCA Sussex North branch also operates a low cost veterinary treatment clinic and appointments can be made by also calling 01403 251954.