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Loss of AmazonSmile to impact local animal charities

By Michelle Monaghan

ACROSS the UK, many charities received an email from Amazon announcing its closure of AmazonSmile. The programme, which will close on 20 February and has been running for ten years, allows customers to donate a portion of money from their purchases to a charity. 

According to the statement issued by Amazon: “AmazonSmile represents a very small amount of the total charitable contributions made through our other programmes, which we estimate at more than £100 million in 2021.”

It’s a significant blow to animal charities that benefit from the program. The Cat Welfare Group based in Whiteley is one of these charities. They cover multiple areas across Hampshire, and AmazonSmile is listed on their website as a way for people to support them. Posting on their Facebook page today, they said: “This is such a shame, we have been so lucky to receive a considerable sum each quarter, at no cost to you, because you have chosen us as your charity when you buy and it certainly has had a huge impact on us. We have one month left to benefit, so don’t forget to use your smile site over that time.”

Supporters of the charity echoed the sentiment in the post’s comments section. Sharing their ‘disappointment’ over Amazon’s decision and believing the company’s reason for the programme about not having the impact they had hoped is untruthful. Instead, supporters believe it involves focusing on more prominent charities and the company’s image. 

Amazon seemed to back these claims up in its statement, announcing they would continue supporting various charities and partnerships across the UK. However, most of the examples listed were for struggling families and people in need and finding ways to relieve the rising cost of living. There needed to be a mention of animal charities and rescue shelters already struggling due to the cost of living. 

Vet bills, food supplies, warm blankets and equipment are some of the enormous demands these places have to deal with. The Cats Protection Gosport Town Branch is one of these charities, and people can no longer afford to care for their cats, adopt, or even foster them. They currently have a Winter Appeal running until Tuesday, 31 January, to try and raise money for the vital resources they need. Sadly, only 10% of the 500 GBP target has been raised, and there is only a week and a half left before the appeal closes. They will also lose money from AmazonSmile as its national branch, Cats Protection, uses the programme. 

With Kitten season fast approaching in April, the closure of AmazonSmile could not come at a worse time. In times like these, let’s not forget our furry little friends, feathered companions and underwater explorers, even if Amazon has.

IMAGE CATS PROTECTION: https://twitter.com/CatsProtection/status/1250068480575049731/photo/1