Pet Aid is currently supporting 16 food banks in 12 local authorities and already has a further 27 foodbanks who are looking to join the initiative.
The Society recently appointed a dedicated Pet Aid coordinator within its team so that they can expand the service to provide nationwide support to animals and their owners as quickly as possible.
Chief executive, Kirsteen Campbell, said, “We’re so grateful to have the support of Cabinet Secretary Mairi Gougeon as we expand this vital service.
"Mairi is passionate about animal welfare issues and making sure her constituents have access to services like this as the cost-of-living crisis continues to deepen.
“Calls to our animal helpline to give up animals almost trebled by the end of the third quarter in 2022 compared to the same period last year, with an increase of 178% (from 972 to 2,705).
"Our inspectors and helpline are dealing with people in heart-breaking, difficult situations on a daily basis where they are considering giving up a beloved pet because they simply can no longer afford to feed them.
“We want to keep people and their pets together.
"As well as providing vital supplies of pet food to people, we’ll continually evaluate the initiative, work with partners and speak to pet owners to understand what additional help they could benefit from.
"This will inform how Pet Aid grows in the months and years to come.
“Prevention is in our name and this service truly allows us to prevent suffering by not only providing food to those who need it, but enabling us to support animal welfare on doorsteps and in the heart of communities instead of picking up the pieces after things have gone wrong.”
Mairi Gougeon visited The Haven in Stonehaven, one of the food banks who are part of the Pet Aid initiative, on 28 October where she met with Kirsteen Campbell and Pet Aid coordinator, Carrie Gianelli.
Mairi Gougeon MSP, said: “Pet Aid is a vital support service for people who unexpectedly find themselves struggling.
"The work being done locally and nationally on this is so important given the incredible rise in calls to the Scottish SPCA from people making the tough choice to give up their pets through hardship.
"It was great to see the team at the Haven and I'd encourage anyone struggling with their pets to seek advice from the Scottish SPCA website or on their dedicated helpline.”
A full list of foodbanks where Pet Aid is available can be found on the Scottish SPCA website at www.scottishspca.org/pet-aid
Anyone struggling to care for their pet can call the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline in strict confidence on 03000 999 999 for help and advice.
Donations of food for the Pet Aid service can be dropped in to any of the Scottish SPCA’s animal rescue and rehoming centres daily between 1pm and 4pm.