Greencross Vets, which operates Petbarn, and a network of 167 general practice veterinary clinics, animal referral hospitals and animal emergency centres across Australia, is helping people and their pets at this time of need through its Petbarn Foundation.
Some animal rescue centres are seeing an increase in surrendered pets, with financial stress cited as a contributing factor to animal relinquishment.
The Petbarn Foundation together with Animal Rescue Cooperative (ARC) have pledged $500k which equates to 1.7m meals in pet-care relief to help animal rescue groups doing it tough during this pandemic crisis.
“We know that pets play a pivotal role in contributing to the joy and wellbeing of families, so we are doing our best to ensure pets continue to stay in their loving homes,” Greencross CEO George Wahby said.
Animal Rescue and charity groups provide care, food and shelter when no-one else can. They rely on donations and volunteers, however, due to COVID-19 this assistance has been limited.
Immediate support from the Petbarn Foundation and ARC will provide Pet Care Relief Packages to pet rescue groups to enable them to continue caring for animals across Australia.
“Sadly, during these unprecedented times, we are likely to see an increase in the number of pets that are surrendered as the impact of COVID-19 puts many Australian families under extraordinary pressure,” Petbarn Foundation chairperson Scott Charters said.
“Unfortunately, this puts immense pressure on pet rescue groups that are so reliant on donations to keep them afloat.
“We hope our Pet Care Relief Packages will reduce the pressure and support these amazing organisations as they continue to look after the wellbeing of so many beloved animals.
We have also pledged $100k to the NSW RSPCA to support people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot leave their homes,” Charters added.
“We will deliver their pet food and supplies at no cost to ensure their animals are kept fed.”
The Petbarn Foundation, in coordination with Animal Rescue Cooperative, will distribute packages through a nationwide network which consists of 13 key distribution hubs.
In addition, the Petbarn Foundation is assisting the RSPCA get food to people who are currently in quarantine by prioritising the order and providing free deliveries to all pet owners currently impacted by self-isolation measures.