Crowthorne pet shop launches food bank – Wokingham.Today

A CROWTHORNE pet store is appealing for donations of pet food and accessories following the launch of its pet food bank.

Best Friends Pet Store in Crowthorne High Street set up the Berkshire Pet Food Bank earlier this month to help pet owners battling the cost of living crisis.

Ridwan Sai, owner of the store which opened earlier this year, was determined to start the cause after learning that people were giving up their pets due to affordability.

Mr Sai said: ‘I was just watching BBC News and saw reports from the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA of how many dogs have been abandoned just because people can’t afford to feed them.

“Of course there’s a lot of news about food banks for people and I kind of put two and two together and thought ‘actually, yeah, that’s a great idea’.”

As a dog owner himself, Mr Sai said he couldn’t imagine having to make the decision to keep his dog.

He said: “The idea of ​​having to give it up, if I didn’t have money to feed it, it would destroy me, so that was another motivation behind the idea.”

The pet food bank will provide more than just dogs, as there will be a range of items for cats and small pets like rabbits, gerbils and hamsters.

The cause has already received strong support from several organisations, including Cats Protection, a rescue and repatriation charity.

Mr. Sai said, “Many organizations came to see us.

“We had a meeting with Cats Protection and they are going to put a wish list on their website which is really good.

“We have already received huge amounts of donations from vets and Cats Protection, so we are getting a lot of stuff.”

The pet food bank will not be means tested and therefore will not require a referral or voucher of any kind, it is based solely on honesty and community spirit.

It’s about making sure people who need help can get it when they need it.

Mr Sai said: “We know there are people who would choose to feed their pets rather than themselves.

“We’re here for people who wouldn’t necessarily always ask for help.

All brands of pet food will be accepted by the food bank, the only criterion is that all items are still up to date.

Mr Sai said, “There are a lot of people, like me for example with my dog, he will eat one type of food then stop it and I will have to change it.

“So people have a lot of spare food that their pet no longer eats.

“So why not give it to people who could use it instead of just sitting in the closet.”

There are a number of donation points located in the borough, as well as the shop itself.

Best Friends Pet Store has also created an Amazon wishlist for anyone who wants to support the cause in a different way.

To view a list of wanted items, drop-off locations, or for more information, search Berkshire Pet Food Bank on Facebook or visit the store in person.