Support pets at Christmas

Maureen Allen with her pet food bank.
Maureen Allen with her pet food bank.

A woman who was almost forced to give up her pets because of financial hardship has set up Northumberland’s first pet food bank.

Maureen Allen found herself with a difficult choice when she faced losing her three beloved cats because money was tight.

But determined to keep them, she managed to muddle through. And now the Alnwick grandmother has decided to set up a pet food bank, called Paws and Claws, in the town to help others who are in the same situation as she was.

Maureen, 61, said: “I just figured that if I was feeling like that then there must be other people who were in the same position.

“It especially affects the elderly. And for them their pet is sometimes their only companion, to lose that would be really difficult for them.”

Originally from the States, Maureen investigated the pet food banks over there before looking closer to home.

“I found that there wasn’t much around here,” she said.

“So I decided to start it off. I wrote to pet food manufacturers and while some couldn’t give donations others did, and thought it was a really good idea.

“I have three cats and I think my life would probably be very close to not worth living if I had to give them up.

“If you were going through financial hardship would you give up your children? The answer is no, so why give up your pets?

“I just want to help other people out because I know what it feels like.”

Maureen is currently storing the donations she has already received at her home in the town.

And she is appealing for anyone who has spare pet food, or who wants to donate to the cause to get in touch with her.

Also anyone who feels they are in hardship and needs a helping hand to feed their animals is asked to contact her.

Contact Maureen on 01665 799453 if you can offer or need help. Any kind of pet food can be taken in by Maureen and she is keen to hear from all those who would like to help out with the cause.