Scottish SPCA helps 195 animals in need in Western Isles in six-month period

New data from the Scottish SPCA has shown there were 195 animal welfare jobs attended in the Western Isles in the first six months of 2020.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 4:54 pm
The Scottish SPCA responded to just under 200 animal welfare jobs in the Western Isles in the first half of 2020. (Photo: Scottish SPCA)

This is from a total of 36,299 across Scotland.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish SPCA had seen an eight per cent drop in reports of animals in need compared to the first six months of 2019.

In the first half of 2020 there were 119,564 calls to the charity’s animal helpline – a 10 per cent drop from 133,047 on the previous period in 2019.

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Scotland’s animal welfare charity reports a busy first half of the year – even during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown (Photo: Scottish SPCA)

Lockdown forced the closure of all nine Scottish SPCA animal rescue and rehoming centres across Scotland which meant animals were arriving at the centres without being rehomed. This put immense pressure on teams and resources.

To relieve this, an emergency foster scheme saw over 260 animals who were ready to be rehomed go out on foster. Over 70 were permanently rehomed by fosterers.

As restrictions eased, the Society introduced virtual rehoming to get animals in to loving homes.

Despite the closure, the Scottish SPCA has rehomed 1,796 animals in the first six months of the year. This is down by 23 per cent from 2,339 in 2019.

The Highlands and Islands rehoming centre found new homes for 139 animals in the first half of the year, while a further 11 animals were returned to their owners.

The society’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre did not close its doors and continued to take in injured, sick or orphaned wild animals.

Admissions in the first half of this year were down 47 per cent from the same period in 2019. A total of 3,377 animals arrived at the centre compared to 5,139 in the previous year. The centre has been especially busy since lockdown eased in May, with almost 1,000 animals on-site at a given time.

The society had engaged with 48,798 school children through its free educational programme until it was put on hold in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cancelled bookings since then meant education officers were unable to meet over 40,000 primary and secondary school pupils.

The society provided free educational resources online to support home-learning, and these have been downloaded over 6,000 times by parents, carers and teachers.

One thousand printed learning packs were also developed and, with the help of Police Scotland, distributed to children who may struggle to access online tools.

Scottish SPCA chief executive Kirsteen Campbell said: “Our whole team has worked so hard through this unprecedented crisis, and the passion and dedication they have displayed all the way through has been truly inspirational.

“Even during lockdown, we were still averaging a call about an animal in need every 90 seconds, which shows the scale of demand there was for our services.

“As Scotland’s animal champions, we have a duty to continue to do our job under any circumstances to make sure pets, wildlife, farm animals and people get the help they need. Thank you so much to our partners and the public for such great support.”