STRUGGLING pet owners in Northwich can now get something to eat for their furry friends after the RSPCA expanded its foodbank partnership.

The animal welfare charity launched a scheme in Lancashire in November 2020 providing pet food to foodbanks in the area.

Now the scheme has been rolled out across Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

The Winsford-based Mid Cheshire Foodbank, which has a distribution location at the Northwich Methodist Outreach Centre in Witton Street, is one of the charity's partners.

RSPCA Inspector Leanne Cragg, who works in Cheshire and Merseyside, is coordinating the project across the two counties.

She said: “This scheme is aimed at helping people in crisis by providing them with pet food to make sure they can continue to care for their pets even when times are hard.

"We know the coronavirus pandemic has hit people’s finances and our concern is that this could have a significant impact on animal welfare.

"By helping owners across Cheshire and Merseyside we hope to prevent that from happening.

"It’s a very rewarding part of my job to know that I’ve not only helped the animal by providing them with the diet they need, but also helped the person by making things easier for them to keep their much-loved pet."

Leanne and her colleagues will deliver the pet food to the foodbanks once a month so it can be distributed as and when it is needed. The first delivery took place on March 17.

As well as providing pet food, the RSPCA inspectors can also refer those who are struggling to the foodbank so they can get food for themselves and any extra support they may need.

The pet food has been donated by kind members of the public through the charity’s branches to feed the animals in their care and any leftovers have been donated to the foodbank project.

Leanne added: “It’s fantastic what we can do when we all pull together and I’m so pleased we’ve been able to roll this scheme out across Cheshire and Merseyside to help pets and their owners.”