Scottish SPCA are warning the public to be vigilant after a member of the public received a letter claiming to be from us accusing them of abusing their dog.
It follows an incident where another member of the public was called by someone posing as a Scottish SPCA employee and asking them for money to reunite them with their missing cat.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, said, “Both these instances were very distressing for the people involved.
“The first incident occurred around the 16 of January when a member of the public received a call from someone claiming to be from the Scottish SPCA after they posted details of their missing cat online. The caller said the cat had been handed in to a local vet practice in the Bishopton area and asked for a £15 release fee.
“Thankfully the member of the public refused to give them any money and went directly to the vet practice. When they enquired about their cat the vet practice had no record of the animal and confirmed they had not contacted the Scottish SPCA about any stray cats recently.
“In the second incident, a resident of the Duddingston area of Edinburgh received a letter in the post on 19 January claiming they had been seen swinging their dog around by the leash.
“The letter was signed John Bishop and had our Edinburgh Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre’s address and our helpline’s contact number printed at the bottom. The letter advised the member of the public that someone would attend the property to view the dog.
“This is not the process we follow for attending animal welfare concerns and there is no one by the name of John Bishop employed by the Society.
“The member of the public targeted by this letter is an elderly person who was extremely distressed to receive it.
“Our inspectors will always be in uniform and will be able to provide identification badges with a photo and authorisation. Our inspectors will also be happy to provide you with vehicle registration.
“If you are at all unsure about someone who comes to your door as the Scottish SPCA then ask them to wait outside and call us immediately. Our inspectors will respect your need to do this.
“If someone contacts you by any other means claiming to be from the Scottish SPCA you can always call our helpline to check if the communication is genuine.
“If anyone has any information on these incidents, or would like to report a similar incident to us, they can contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999. We need your support today. From as little as £1, you can save lives. Please support the Scottish SPCA today.