More than 560 animal charities across the UK have received more than £2m over the past 18 months thanks to Pets at Home’s customers.

The donations have been raised by the retailer’s VIP (Very Important Pets) club members, of which there are now three million, who collectively own more than 9.8 million pets.

Every time VIP club members swipe their cards in-store, at the vets or Groom Room salon, they collect points, which are converted into VIP Lifelines for a pet charity of their choice, shared between national and local independent animal charities on a monthly basis.

Lifelines can then be used to help with vital expenses such as food, bedding and essential supplies.

In the two years since the VIP club launched, the RSPCA has received more than £92,000 from customers, while Cats Protection has received more than £57,000 and Blue Cross more than £24,000. Other charities to benefit include the Retired Greyhound Trust, Dogs Trust, Scottish SPCA, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Wood Green, The Animals Charity, and a whole host of local rescue homes and charities.

Gavin Hawthorn, head of the VIP club at Pets at Home, said collecting more than £2m was incredible.

“These Lifelines go to charities that rely solely on donations and public support so to be able to give them help in crucial costs such as food or vet bills is amazing – and all thanks to our now three million-strong VIP club members,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to donating more Lifelines in 2015 to help secure the future of even more pets in rescue and rehoming centres around the UK.”

Pets at Home’s VIP club gives customers a wide range of benefits, both for themselves and their pet, as well as helping their chosen charity.

Perks include personalised offers, welcome discounts, exclusive birthday treats and free copies of My VIP magazine.

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