RSPCA has announced a partnership with pet food supplier McAdams which will see rescue animals provided with higher welfare, ethically-sourced pet food as they await their forever home.
New RSPCA research has highlighted that rehoming domestic pets has slowed by nearly 10% year on year – rehoming an average of 753 animals per week in 2019, 565 per week in 2020 but only 518 per week in 2021 – meaning that spaces aren’t being freed up as quickly and animals are staying in their care for longer.
As such, the RSPCA has today announced a new food supplier partnership with McAdams – the only ultra-premium dry dog food and cat food made using ethically sourced free-range meat and fish from RSPCA Assured certified farms – in a bid to increase dog and cat welfare as rehoming centres reach critical levels. As part of the exciting new partnership, McAdams will also provide a bag of dry food for every rescue dog and cat adopted from an RSPCA centre and donate up to £80,000 from the proceeds of sale of the new higher welfare product.
The average length of stay for animals in RSPCA rehoming centres in 2021 was 93 days for dogs, and 67 days for cats. The charity already has a waiting list for all species of animals in private boarding establishments that are waiting for space in an RSPCA rehoming centre so they can begin their rehabilitation and search for a new home. Fellow charity the SSPCA is similarly close to capacity at its nine rescue centres across Scotland.
Amid fears the rehoming crisis is set to worsen – online search terms relating to giving up pets is currently up 49% compared to this time last year1 – and the cost-of-living increases and return to offices post-lockdown affecting pet adoption decisions, an animal’s length of stay at a rehoming centre is set to increase meaning welfare and nutrition for long-term care is now more important than ever.
Emma Slawinski, director of policy, prevention and campaigns at the RSPCA said: “With animals now spending longer than ever in our care, we are doing everything we can to ensure they stand the best chance in life and in finding a forever home, such as beautiful Mastiff Crossbreed Bonnie (pictured) who’s been waiting for her forever home for six months.
Emma continued: “Along with specialist behavioural and training support for our rescue animals, a key focus for us is their nutrition, so our partnership with McAdams could not have come at a more ideal time and we are thrilled to be working with them as our official pet food partner. The company shares our values including a passion for higher-welfare farming and traceability, and we have worked together to create a partnership designed to set the standards in animal wellbeing in the pet trade. It’s not only benefiting domestic animals, but ensuring a better life for farm animals too.”
Neil McAdam, founder of McAdams Pet Food, added: “Our intention through this partnership with the RSPCA is to improve the lives of dogs and cats in their care, at a time when rehoming charities need our support more than ever.
“McAdams is the only dry pet food sourced from RSPCA Assured certified farms, and we are proud to be offering our foods to the charity to be fed to the cats and dogs within their rehoming centres, at no extra cost to them. We will also make a donation to the RSPCA for every bag of McAdams cat or dog food purchased by the public, with a minimum donation in the first year of £80,000. Furthermore, we will provide every RSPCA adopter a bag of food to take home with their new pet.”
The partnership comes during the month of Adoptober, the RSPCA’s rehoming drive promoting adoption of long-stay rescue animals and encouraging people to adopt and not shop. Sadly, it comes at a time when the charity is braced for an animal rescue crisis as more pets come into its care while less people are considering taking on a new pet due to the rocketing cost of living.
New figures released by the RSPCA this month reveal that the charity’s centres and branches across England & Wales rehomed almost 27,000 animals last year (2021), 8% less than the previous year.
At the same time, more animals arrived in the charity’s care and the average length of stay increased, resulting in long waiting lists for spaces in rehoming centres.
The charity is urging people who can commit to the lifelong responsibility of a pet to consider rescuing instead of buying, and is also asking the public to help them rescue more animals by donating online.
To find out more about the animals that need rehoming in the UK, please visit www.rspca.org.uk.