Pet food donations scheme a vital lifeline for owners
A pet food donation scheme in Darlington has proved to be a vital lifeline for owners, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Launched in 2015 by Darlington Borough Council’s Dog Warden service, part of the Community Safety Team, the scheme has seen tonnes of food donated which has helped people – and their pets – across the area.
Dog Warden Andy Wood explained:
“I realised that those who were receiving support from local food banks may also be in need of help with dog food and I knew there were some families who were considering giving up their pets simply because they could no long afford to feed them.
“The generosity of the people of Darlington has seen tonnes of dog and cat food donated over the past five years. We’ve passed this on to the Kings Church Food Bank, which has then distributed it to those in need, and it’s an even more important lifeline for many under the current circumstances.
Councillor Jonathan Dulston, the council’s deputy leader, added:
“Our Dog Warden service has been recognised nationally for its welfare standards and this food donation scheme is just a part of the work they do. It not only helps families that may be struggling with food costs to keep their much-loved pets, but also helps avoid dogs, and cats, becoming strays – which has got to be good news.”
Caroline Todd, manager at King’s Foodbank, said:
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has very kindly continued in their donations of pet food to King’s Foodbank and especially to Andy who goes out of his way to bring them to us.
"Pets can be a lifeline to anyone who owns one and bring so much comfort and joy into their lives. We were finding that people were going without meals just to feed their pets, which I am sure the pets loved, but obviously is not a healthy option for them. So to be able to give owners the correct food for their pets has been extremely invaluable.”
The scheme encourages shoppers to buy an extra tin of dog or cat food and leave it in a marked box near the entrance of the store. Donations are accepted at Wilko in East Street, Asda in Whinfield Road and Sainsbury’s in Victoria Road, Darlington which are then collected and given to King’s Church food bank for distribution.
If you need to report a lost or found dog please call 01325 406999 (and follow the instructions on the automated message) or check the Darlington Dog Warden page on Facebook.
More information about dogs and the law, lost and found dogs, and the new PSPO and maps of specific areas it covers can be found at www.darlington.gov.uk/communitysafety under Dog Warden.
Photo caption (L-R): Andy Wood, Darlington Borough Council Dog Warden, delivers the latest pet food donations to Caroline Todd, King’s Church foodbank manager.