Dorset Dogs opens its 7th pet food bank in Boscombe, Bournemouth, England, as the community struggles with the demands and costs of animal ownership.
With over 1,000 pets needing help, the pet food bank launched alongside an existing food bank in Haviland Road, Boscombe's Feed Our Community charity.
The people working behind this cause, including donors, aim to prevent dogs and other pets from being given up by owners.
Dorset Dogs has fed thousands of animals with its seven food banks stretching from Christchurch to Portland.
Nicky Crowe, who founded Dorset Dogs in January, said she has seen devastated owners on social media seeking help to rehome their pets.
“We saw the need for pet food banks—we found that people were feeding their pets before themselves.”
Crowe recalls the “heartbreaking” situation pet owners face and thought she “needed to do something about it.”
Dorset Dogs food bank also met people who were bringing their pets in with them.
Some owners were “opening up and talking about their issues” and the charity was able to give them “more support” whenever they can.
“Pets are a lifeline—they give us so much,” Crowe adds.
“Supporting the pets is supporting the humans, making them feeling happier in themselves and also with their mental health.”
One owner, Debbie, shared her situation with her support dog Beau.
Suffering from anxiety, Debbie relies on her beloved emotional support dog, and “with all the prices going up if it wasn't for the pet food bank I wouldn't have enough money to keep my dog.”
“He was the last thing that my husband bought me before he died,” Debbie recalls.
“If I had to get rid of Beau I would be an emotional wreck – he's the one that's always been there for me.”
Feed Our Community and Dorset Dogs pet food bank in Haviland Road is available on weekday mornings.
Crowe targets to open more in Weymouth, Ferndown, and West Howe.