Animal lovers facing giving up their pets during cost of living crisis get help thanks to new appeal in South Tyneside - here's how you can donate

A charity has launched an appeal for pet food to prevent people from having to give up the companionship their animals bring.

As the cost of living bites, there are fears that owners may be simply unable to afford their pets. In October the RSPCA said the number of abandoned pets in England and Wales had increased by 25% on the previous year.

Now South Tyneside charity Cause4Pawz has set up drop-off points around the borough. They mainly need dog and cat food, but will accept food for smaller pets too, as well as non-food items such as toys and dog coats.

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Also wanted is duck food. Many people enjoy feeding the ducks at local ponds, but don’t realise that bread is actually bad for the birds.

Diane Chisholm, who founded the charity.

The charity says that interaction with animals can prevent mental health problems, particularly for people who don’t have much human contact.

Founder Diane Chisholm lives in Hebburn and is also owns Ozzy, a Bichon Frisé / Yorkshire terrier cross.

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She said: “I thought it was a shame that there was nothing in the borough to help families look after their pets and stop people from having to give up their animals. I thought about setting up a pet food bank.

“I went ahead in September and reached out on Facebook to gain exposure. It’s gone really well; the only problem is that it’s either a feast or a famine. We were getting a lot of referrals but not enough donations.

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Ducks should not be fed bread. It is bad for their health.

“Now donations have gone through the roof, but we don’t have the exposure yet, so people might not know about the initiative.

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“We’re making a referral form. People can contact us through our Facebook page, or email us at [email protected]

“You can donate at one of the drop-off points. Alternatively my partner and I are collecting items too. We still need more volunteers and delivery drivers, but it’s so far so good.”

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Diane Chisholm, who founded the charity.
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Drop-off points are Waverley Hair Design and Ride and Shine Equestrian Supplies both on Victoria Road East, Hebburn, Bede’s Helping Hands food bank, Glasgow Road, Jarrow, Farplace animal rescue, Victoria Road, South Shields. Simonside Tesco will also take donations during November.

The Kelly pub in Hebburn has a fundraiser for Cause4Pawz, 10am-4pm, Saturday, December 3.

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Diane Chisholm, who founded the charity.