Cumbrian animal charity sees demand for pet food parcels soar since lockdown

An animal charity in Cumbria is handing out five times as many pet food parcels than usual.

Oak Tree, near Wetheral, has just reopened to the public and says demand has risen from 60 per month to 300 since lockdown started.

In the space of 3 months, that's almost a 1,000 parcels which gives you an idea of how people are now struggling to afford the basics.

Manager Caroline Johnson said: "The need of our community was such that we had to respond to that. It was an ever-evolving situation. People's needs changed throughout the crisis.

"We've been so fortunate to have big donations from some corporate food manufacturers, as well as our really amazing Cumbrian supporters who have made sure that no pet has to go hungry."

The centre also fears that a rise in demand for puppies during the pandemic will now lead to an influx of dogs needing re-homed.

Caroline said: "People have adopted pets with the best intentions, but may find their working situation and the new normal doesn't fit with their pet and their lifestyle.

"We're possibly anticipating an increase in animals coming in."

Like other charities, Oak Tree has seen its income reduced. But in the midst of everything, the unexpected arrival of two foals has given the team a real boost.

Amy Brennan, an equine re-homer, said: "We got seven horse in together, we were working with the RSPCA to get them in.

"We didn't have any background information of them. Because of Covid-19, we weren't able to get them scanned because it wasn't an essential visit to the vets to scan the horses.

"It just brought everyone's spirits up and the whole team at Oak Tree was just so happy to have some good news."

  • More information on Oak Tree can be found on their website.