Pet foodbanks helping animal lovers feed their pets as the cost of living bites

The front room of Donna Whitten’s home in Portadown is crammed to the rafters with pet food supplies.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, budgies, you name it, everyone is catered for.

It’s all been donated by friends and people she doesn’t even know - not for her use but to be handed out to others who are having to tighten their belts in the cost-of-living crisis.

As prices soar and everything becomes more expensive, more people are turning to special pet food banks to ensure their animals don’t go hungry.

On Friday mornings Donna and some of her friends can be found running a food bank out of the back of their cars parked at a site on Thomas Street

“We have drop-in collection points all around Portadown where people can donate the food and we have been given loads to hand out. We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and the generosity of the public,” said Donna

The pet food bank started at the end of last year, and as word spread, more people started turning up each week to get supplies.

Yvonne Meehan is one of them. She has three dogs - two Huskies and a German Shepard and she loves them.

She said she’d rather go without herself than see them go hungry. She said she can’t thank the volunteers enough for operating the weekly foodbank.

“My dogs would eat an awful lot of food through the week,” said Yvonne. “You're talking about 21 tins a week. Never mind your dry food on top of that”

She added that she was concerned about costs going up and how she would be able to look after her pets.

“I was worried about how to look after them. But they're my animals and I have to look after them. Would I do without to ensure they were fed? Yes, I would.”

Donna added: “We have seen tears, but tears of joy that pet owners can come here and we can help them feed their pets. Our aim is to keep them with their families”.

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