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Animal charity faces major shake-up


Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home is having to cut jobs and some of its services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic

An animal charity has announced it is to make a series of changes as it battles through the Covid-19 crisis.

Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has made financial losses of more than £650,000 over the last few months.

The charity has said it now needs to make several changes to ensure it is sustainable for years to come.

Despite furloughing almost half its staff and closing its boarding kennels at the start of lockdown, the home is counting the cost of cancelled events, charity shops closing and loss of other income.

The charity has now announced that the closure of its shops in Stockbridge and Portobello will be made permanent, along with an end to the pet boarding service. Uncertainty over the retail and travel industries meant the services have been deemed no longer sustainable areas of income generation.

The home has also announced 15 members of staff have been made redundant, with other roles across the organisation being adapted to fit a new structure.

“Covid-19 was something we could never have imagined,” said chief executive Lindsay Fyffe-Jardine. “Suddenly, our pet boarding service had to shut with immediate effect and our charity shops also closed their doors. Fundraising events were cancelled, corporate engagement dropped off, and many other income streams dried up.

“Budgets were slashed and nearly half of our passionate staff were furloughed to try to make the most of the scheme and save some costs. Staff who were left behind felt the weight of responsibility to continue our vital work with stray and unwanted pets, and to find new and creative ways to find the money to recoup our losses.

“I couldn’t be prouder of how my team has responded to these challenges, or more grateful for the support of our local community, who rallied behind us in our hour of need. It is heart-breaking to say that this has not been enough to shield the home from the devastating financial losses that we’ve experienced over the last few months, which currently exceed £650,000.

“We now have enough reserves to last us to the end of 2020, but beyond that point would be incredibly uncertain without significant changes to the way we work, the services we offer and the shape of the organisation as a whole.”

The charity was founded in 1883, and since then has been working in partnership with local authorities and police services by welcoming lost, stray and abandoned pets from all corners of Edinburgh and the Lothians.

“Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has existed for nearly 140 years, through two world wars, recessions, and immeasurable political and socio-economic shift,” Fyffe-Jardine added. “Today we can add a global pandemic to the home’s history books, and I know that one day soon we will close this chapter and look back with both sadness and pride on our resilience in these difficult times.

“I would like to take the time to thank each and every person who has supported us, if there is any more you feel you can do, please visit our website.”



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