The Big Issue is calling on our readers to tell us about the pet heroes who’ve helped you get through 2020.
This year our furry (and feathered and scaly) friends have become more important to us than ever, and we want to celebrate your stories in one of our bumper Christmas magazines.
Long before the world was hit by Covid-19, pet owners have appreciated the reassurance and companionship to be found from their animal friends.
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Studies have shown that having a pet around the house can help our mental wellbeing. A Cats Protection survey last year saw 93.7 per cent of respondents say their kitty had helped with their mental health.
“We often hear about how cats have had a positive impact on their owners’ wellbeing and it’s heart-warming to see how cats really can make such a difference to people’s lives,” said Kate Bunting from Cats Protection.
“We believe anyone can benefit from owning a cat. From sharing a secret to being by our side during lonely times, cats lift our spirits and make us more able to cope with the stresses of modern living so having a cat in the home is a win-win for everyone.”
Cats may rule the internet, but they’re not the only animals offering support. A recent study by the Blue Cross animal charity showed that owning a pet – any pet – can not only boost mental wellness, but also alleviate loneliness and isolation.
As lockdown bit and our social circles shrunk throughout 2020, we gained a renewed appreciation for the cats and dogs (or whatever animal it may have been) that offered solace when we were upset, found us when we felt lost, joined us on our government-sanctioned walks and brought fun and cheer when we needed it most.
We frequently feature Big Issue vendors and the pets that are their most loyal companions, (not to mention the legendary and much-missed Street Cat Bob), and we will do so again. But we also want to celebrate the hero pet in your life.
How did your pet help you find joy or comfort this year? Did they keep you company while you were working from home, or readjusting to furlough?
Get in touch, share your story and remember to send a photo – ideally of you and your pet facing the world together. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Email your stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org