A TEAM of volunteers have helped save pets in need during the coronavirus pandemic after a donation of vital food.

Campaigners at Bradford4Better have also revealed that some pet owners had been cutting back on their own food in order to afford to feed their much-loved pets as the financial impact of coronavirus hit.

Bradford4Better has been working with manufacturer C&D Foods to distribute hundreds of tins of pet food to struggling organisations and individuals facing financial hardship.

The group responded as misinformation about the spread of Covid-19 by cats took hold, and animal sanctuaries warned that cats and dogs were at risk of abandonment and starvation during the pandemic. Animal shelters reported a rise in the number of pets in need and struggled to cope with demand.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pet food is being distributed by volunteersPet food is being distributed by volunteers

Community action group Bradford4Better teamed with C&D Foods to identify the animal sanctuaries, community groups, churches, neighbourhood organisations and individuals in need of support. Dozens of volunteers from across the region then collected and distributed essential supplies.

Inayah Sher from Bradford4Better said: “C&D Foods responded to our plea for help so quickly, and with such generosity, that we have been able save pets’ lives and support those who care for them right across the region. The ripple effect of that kindness has been fantastic – helping to raise awareness locally of the issue of pet abandonment during the pandemic.

“We also know that for many individuals, this help from C&D Foods has been life changing. We know of one pet owner who had stopped feeding herself in order to pay for cat food. She is now safe, having benefitted from the donation.

“The pandemic has helped drive home just how much comfort our animals bring us, but also how vulnerable they are. We will be carrying out further work in the community to keep our pets safe from harm, as well as pushing the government to consider pets in any future crisis response.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pet food donated by C&D Foods is ready for distributionPet food donated by C&D Foods is ready for distribution

Salma Khan from C&D Foods said: “Pets have been a great source of comfort to many at this difficult time, but many have also badly suffered. The lockdown has had a dramatic impact on personal finances for some pet owners, leading them to believe that abandoning their pets was their only option."

“We were compelled to step in and address this crisis, which was taking place within our own community, and were overwhelmed by the kindness of volunteers brought together by Bradford4Better."

The company has gone on to issue a message of thanks to the volunteers. Meanwhile, Bradford4Better thanked BWR Group who helped to transport and store the pallets of pet food before they were distributed.