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Coronavirus: How Wood Green is caring for pets and pet owners when they need it most

By Linda Cantle, director of pet and owner support services at Wood Green, The Animals Charity

Wood Green is helping pet owners struggling duing the Covid-19 crisis (33985578)
Wood Green is helping pet owners struggling duing the Covid-19 crisis (33985578)

Wood Green, The Animals Charity offers a range of essential services that are now more vital than ever before.

These include free pet advice and behavioural support, as well as assistance in the form of urgent supplies and financial aid when owners are in times of hardship. Many people’s lifestyles, finances and health have been impacted by Covid-19 and, as a direct result, more pets are now in need of support from Wood Green.

Since the government-enforced lockdown began, Wood Green has been working tirelessly to provide pet food to the British Red Cross, local food banks and individual pet owners in need – supplying 60 dogs and cats with food since the beginning of March.

This month, Wood Green has provided advice to 20 people experiencing behavioural problems with their pets, two of which were dog bite cases that are believed to be caused by a change in routine, increased proximity to people within the home, and heightened anxiety during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This work is driven by the pet and owner support services team at Wood Green, which comprises of behaviour and training specialists, community outreach officers and a dedicated pet support team who receive and handle all enquiries. Where essential financial assistance is required, grants are available from the charity’s ‘Pet Support Kitty’.

These grants cover costs associated with pet care such as neutering, emergency medical bills and pet food. This month so far, 11 pets have received vital veterinary care thanks to the Pet Support Kitty, at a cost of more than £1,000 to Wood Green.

Socks the cat has a cuddle (33985580)
Socks the cat has a cuddle (33985580)

The charity’s aim is to keep pets in loving homes. If an owner comes to Wood Green in circumstances that the team can rectify through advice and support, they will do whatever they can to keep them together – bringing them into care for rehoming is a last resort.

In 2019, Wood Green helped more than 900 cases with funds from the Pet Support Kitty, provided pet owners with almost 3,500kg of pet food, and offered one-to-one behavioural consultations to almost 600 people. With many people now in unexpected medical or financial difficulty due to Covid-19, these services have never been more vital and Wood Green has urgently adapted its working methods in order to continue its work.

To enable Wood Green to be there for more vulnerable pets and people, the charity is asking its local community to make a donation – it will make a big difference. With Wood Green’s 19 charity shops now closed, and a restricted ability to raise funds despite growing demands on its services, the charity’s need is now greater than ever. Please text* PAW to 70500 to give £5 or visit woodgreen.org.uk to donate to this worthy cause.

Alternatively, businesses wanting to support Wood Green’s work at this critical time can contact Wood Green’s Corporate Fundraising team by going to woodgreen.org.uk/fundraising-for-businesses or by emailing corporate@woodgreen.org.uk.

Anyone needing help with their pet is encouraged to contact Wood Green for free information, advice and guidance. Please visit woodgreen.org.uk/contact-us or contact the team directly on 0300 303 9333.

* 100 per cent of donations go to Wood Green. Texts cost your donation plus your standard message rate (this is typically 5p but can be up to 14p). Always get the bill payer’s permission.

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