Animal lover Emma Williams has organised pet food collection points in and around Farnham to aid struggling pet owners this festive season.
Emma, who used to own the Stirling Sandwich Shop in Castle Street, currently works at an emergency animal hospital.
She has witnessed the increase in pets, including strays, being dumped at the hospital and being given up to animal welfare charities.
Emma sees this regularly through her additional work as a trustee at the RSPCA in Alton and as a fosterer for Cats Protection.
“Animals are being disposed of and being involved in the rescue life.
“I see how they are overflowing because people can’t afford to keep their pets, and it’s really sad.” Emma told the Farnham Herald.
Because of the cost of living crisis people cannot afford the basics.
Emma said: “It’s a tough situation when owners are forced to choose between themselves and their pets.
“It’s getting ridiculous and the rescues are having to turn people away because there is no more room.”
To help owners keep their pets, Emma has collaborated with businesses and organisations around the local area to set up pet food collection points.
The collection points are:
ν Coffee Diem in Lion and Lamb Yard, Farnham
ν Hale Community Centre in Upper Hale Road, Farnham
ν Manor Farm Tea Room in Wood Lane, Seale
Emma added: “I think support anywhere is great, and the places that I’ve chosen attract all sorts of people. I’ll spread the food out evenly between the community centre, Cats Protection and the RSPCA.”
John Leston, from the RSPCA’s Alton, Haslemere and Petersfield branch, said who gets priority for the pet food is left to the local food banks with which it has partnerships.
He added: “Our scheme is effectively limited to people who are using the local food banks and any prioritisation within that we leave to the food banks themselves - we do not get involved.”
Emma hopes the donation of pet food will ease costs for owners during the festive season, and said even a small donation of a packet or tin would make all the difference.