Glasgow to trial pet aid service amid worrying surge in abused and abandoned animals

The country is facing an animal welfare crisis
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Figures have revealed that almost three-quarters of animals arriving through Scottish SPCA's doors require immediate veterinary treatment due to intentional abuse and unintentional harm.

The country is currently battling an animal welfare crisis as staff call for more support. In a recent report, the Scottish SPCA said 43 per cent of people who contacted the charity in 2023 discussed having to give up their animal due to their financial circumstances.

In addition to the surge in animal arrivals, the charity say they have also experienced a concerning 10 per cent rise in calls to the free helpline, with more than a quarter of a million calls in 2023 (277,911).

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New figures were released highlighting the charity's incredible work in 2023 at a time when the charity, like many organisations across the country, saw the cost of delivering its services spiral as rising energy bills, food and veterinary costs increased.

The Scottish SPCA launched a Pet Aid service and working with 56 food banks across the country, managed to provide regular service users with pet food essentials - helping more than 400 people each month across the year.

Now, the charity is piloting an innovative sister service to Pet Aid offering community veterinary support to help keep people and their pets together and reduce the need for animals going into their care.

Almost three-quarters of animals arriving at the SSPCA require immediate care
Almost three-quarters of animals arriving at the SSPCA require immediate care -Credit:SSPCA

The project, which is being piloted in the Glasgow area, will see a community veterinary nurse team visit owners and their pets at home to carry out basic healthcare assessments. Animals in need of more complex veterinary treatment can then be referred to their Glasgow centre.

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Scottish SPCA Chief Executive Kirsteen Campbell said: “It’s clear from our latest annual figures that animals across Scotland have never needed us more.

“It is heart-breaking to see so many animals come to us because their owners simply can no longer cope or make ends meet. The animal welfare crisis and cost of living crisis go hand in hand and it’s also costing us more than ever as a charity to do what we do.

“We’re determined to be here for animals in the ways they need us today and in the future. We’ve introduced new services and changed the way we work in communities across Scotland so that we can help as many people and animals as possible to stay together.

“But thousands more animals are still coming through our doors every year and we want to be there for all of them. We can only do that with help and it costs us more to help the animals who need us than the money we are raising, so every penny counts.”

In 2023 the SSPCA also rehomed 3,881 animals to loving new homes, fostered 459 animals, and treated 5,163 wild animals. The charity launched 310 special investigations including 113 investigations into low welfare puppy dealers.

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