Kimpton pet charity calls for government action over impending crisis due to COVID-19

Pet charity the Blue Cross is calling on the government to take action to help prevent the impending

Pet charity the Blue Cross is calling on the government to take action to help prevent the impending pet crisis due to COVID-19, and to enable animal charities to continue to look after and re-home pets like Bonita the cat. Picture: Courtesy of Sam Murray - Credit: Archant

An animal welfare charity is asking for people’s help in calling on the government to take urgent action over an impending pet crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Blue Cross, which has a rehoming centre in Kimpton, says the pandemic has led to an increase in pet scams and impulsive pet-buying, as well as more people concerned over how they will afford to keep their pets, and smaller charities facing uncertain futures due to financial crisis.

Kellie Brooks, manager at Kimpton’s Blue Cross centre, said: “As with all charities this year, our income here at Blue Cross will suffer a hit.

“We’re lucky we will be able to weather the storm, but many smaller charities may struggle to make it through this difficult time.

“It is a worrying time for the public too and we’re aware that many may be concerned about losing their jobs and affording their homes, children and pets.

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“We know there has been an increase in people taking on a new pet over the last few months and sadly we’ve taken a few phones calls recently from people who have fallen victim to online puppy-buying scams.”

Blue Cross is asking people to back its call for government action by writing to their local MP and demanding preventative measures.

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A group of celebrities, including wildlife expert Chris Packham, are supporting the Blue Cross in its fight. In an open letter, they say: “There is an impending pet crisis in this country as the coronavirus pandemic threatens animal welfare charities and pet owners alike.

“Blue Cross is calling on the government to not ignore the signs and act quickly before it’s too late.

“The charity has carried out research showing how irresponsible breeders have been taking advantage of the situation. Prices for puppies being sold online have rocketed, and more and more sick and underage puppies are being smuggled, farmed or illegally sold, and sadly, many end up needing veterinary care, or dying.

“In addition, there are concerns lots of smaller rescue centres will be forced to close because of lack of funds as a result of the virus.

“Animal charities need help following this new crisis as more pets are expected to need care.

“The government needs to act to help pets and the people who love and rely on them.”

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