A new dog foodbank has been set up in Dundee to help those who are struggling to feed their pets.
Kirsty and Doug McRae have officially launched Tayside Dogs, offering to get free dog food parcels out to those who are struggling to make ends meet during lockdown.
Already the pair have received a number of requests for food, and along with their cross bichon Lhasa Teddy and cross miniature schnauzer Shih Tzu Barney, are delivering parcels across the city.
Kirsty said: “We know during coronavirus a lot of people have lost their jobs – I work in employability so I know just how many people are unemployed.
“In the supermarkets when you go up to the foodbank donation trolley you see lots of beans and pasta, but there is never any dog food there.
“That’s where we got the idea from.
“We have dogs ourselves and we want to help people feed their animals, because if they are having to feed them human food that is not great for them.”
The pair have created an online form to request a meal parcel, with areas to specify allergies or health issues. A preference to wet or dry food can also be made.
They are also offering bags to pick up dog mess.
Doug said: “If you can’t afford to buy food, you won’t have any bags to pick up your dog poo and in Dundee you do see a lot of dog mess about, so this will help people to look after their dogs too and make the community a bit cleaner.
“During the coronavirus outbreak any donations or food are quarantined for three days before we put them out for deliveries.
“The food parcels cover three days’ worth of food, and there is no limit after the three days – if you need to request again that is not a problem at all.
“And if you have three dogs, for example, that is not a problem either.”
The pair said they were shocked at how quickly requests for dog food parcels came in after launching.
Kirsty said: “When we do our deliveries people are telling us there is not often dog food available in the food bank, and if it does come there is not a lot of it.
“So this is an area that needed addressing.
“We have had a lot of people getting in touch with requests for food parcels.
“It has picked up quicker than we thought it would, we have had so many food parcels in the first week.
“I am shocked at how quickly it has taken off, but people are really grateful for the parcels so it is worthwhile.
“It is needed, which is sad, but we are glad we can help out.”
Checks for microchip numbers are also being made, to highlight any lost or stolen dogs.
Doug added: “It became law in 2016 that all dogs should be microchipped, and with all the dognappings recently we just wanted to cover ourselves.
“No one wants to lose a dog.”