With just five weeks to go before Christmas, charities are preparing to support people experiencing financial difficulties to enjoy the festive season – and they’re not forgetting four-legged family members.
RSPCA South Australia is asking for donations of dog food to help stock AnglicareSA’s emergency assistance food hubs, so there is plenty of sustenance for everyone during the Christmas and New Year period.
According to RSPCA SA Fundraising Manager Elizabeth Somers, the need to give practical support to financially strapped dog owners is all too obvious to the Society’s Inspectors and Rescue Officers.
“With one in 12 South Australians living below the poverty line*, it’s heartbreaking but not surprising that our teams on the road see far too many dogs with protruding ribs, dull coats and empty bellies,” Ms Somers said.
“RSPCA South Australia exists to help all creatures great and small – and we believe that means helping them to stay with their loving families whenever possible.
“Providing food for dogs is a very practical way the South Australian community can show their support for families who – without help – will be doing it tough this Christmas.”
Kate McGarry, AnglicareSA Head of Community Support, said people go without to feed their pets, even when hungry themselves.
“We know people who are struggling to make ends meet give human food to their pets as a last resort rather than see their pets starve,” Ms McGarry said.
“We are delighted about this partnership with RSPCA SA and encourage the community to get behind this important initiative.”
RSPCA South Australia is planning pet food drives throughout 2019, and is using this first one as a trial. Its timing recognises the fact that household budgets can be especially stretched over the summer holiday period.
The focus is on feeding dogs because of the high reportage of malnourished dogs in SA. Nearly 470 cruelty reports received in the ten months up to 31 October this year related to dogs having insufficient food and/or water. A further 827 reports received during this period related to dogs in poor condition for a range of reasons, not all weight-related.
While keeping dogs nourished is this year’s goal, future RSPCA South Australia petfood drives may include a callout for cat food too.
The Dog Food Drive launches today, with donations welcome up until January 20th 2019.
One of the ten drop-off points (listed below) is RSPCA SA’s recently opened Northside Pet Superstore at Hillcrest. The store continues to trade as it undergoes renovations ahead of its relaunch in February. Anyone donating products bought at the store to the Dogfood Drive will receive a 10% discount on those items. The in-store Christmas tree is waiting!
*Source – Australian Council of Social Service
How people can help:
Bags of dry dog food, canned dog food or commercial dog treats can be dropped off at the following locations:
- RSPCA SA offices – 16 Nelson St, STEPNEY – Open 9am – 5pm week days
- RSPCA Lonsdale animal shelter – 25 Meyer Rd, LONSDALE – Open 10am to 4pm every day except Tuesdays (closed)
- RSPCA Northside Pet Superstore – 345 North East Road, HILLCREST – Open 7 days, phone 08 8266 6582
- RSPCA SA Op Shops – Open 9am to 5pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays
- 322 Grange Road, KIDMAN PARK (west of intersection with Findon Road)
- 455 Brighton Rd, BRIGHTON
- Shop 41, Marden Shopping Centre, Lower Portrush Rd, MARDEN
- 180 Prospect Rd, PROSPECT
- 106 Semaphore Rd, SEMAPHORE
- Shop 6, 352 Morphett Rd, WARRADALE
- Shop 13, 168-170 Main Rd, BLACKWOOD