Demand for the Scottish SPCA’s services at an all-time high

  • Scotland’s animal welfare charity rehomed over 5,000 animals in 2018
  • National Wildlife Rescue Centre had its busiest year since opening with 9,861 admissions
  • Education team engaged with over 245,000 children and over 3,000 adults

New data has shown demand for our services to be at an all-time high.


A Spokesperson for the Scottish SPCA Stated “Our inspectorate, which is comprised of inspectors and animal rescue officers, responded to 90,000 incidents in 2018.
We were successful in 90 court cases in 2018, up from 70 in 2017. This resulted in 45 bans, including three for life, 17 community payback orders and 25 fines. We also issued 664 animal welfare notices. Our Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which investigates serious animal welfare abuses, took on 529 jobs in 2018, up sharply on 332 in 2017. SIU lead a multi-agency operation to disrupt puppy farming.
Across our nine rescue and rehoming centres, 5,068 animals were rehomed last year and we helped to reunite 948 lost pets with their owners. The National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Clackmannanshire also experienced a record-breaking year. Admissions to the centre have grown year-on-year and 2018 was no exception, with 9,861 wild animals passing through the doors including record numbers of seals (188) and birds (7,584). 57% of animals admitted were successfully treated and released back in to the wild. During baby birds season in Spring 2018, we received an average of 140 calls per day relating to fledglings.”
Kirsteen Campbell, chief executive said: “Demand for our services is higher than ever. Including wildlife, we attended the equivalent of more than 240 animal welfare reports per day last year and this lays bare the scale of the work we do. Our incredibly dedicated rehoming centre teams and inspectorate work so hard to ensure animals in need get the care and support they deserve.
“Our efforts to tackle the multi-million pounds’ illegal puppy trade and other serious animal abuses have led to a large increase in reports of puppy farms, animal fighting and other crimes due to increased awareness among the general public. Campaigns such as Say No to Puppy Dealers and the Scottish Government’s Buy A Puppy Safely have helped to educate people on the trade, as evidenced by the increased reports of puppy farms we’ve taken.
“Whilst we aim to disrupt and stop these offences, we are confident we are helping to deliver systemic change through our educational work and our positive progress engaging with the Scottish Government to deliver improvements in animal welfare legislation.”

Annual Review 2

Almost a quarter of a million school children in Scotland benefitted from our free Prevention through Education programme in 2018. Our education team visited 61% of Scots primary schools, reaching over 245,000 school children through visits and attending events such as the Royal Highland Show. Education officers also worked with more than 3,000 adults and aim to build on this in the years ahead.

Kirsteen Campbell added: “The Society has also positioned itself as a leading player in the animal welfare sector globally. Our research with partners such as the University of Edinburgh has led to widespread recognition and resulted in work being done in our centres to make sure animals are happy and settled as can be.”

Last year, we opened our first sensory garden for dogs at our Glasgow centre. It had a soothing effect on many dogs, especially those from puppy farms or abusive backgrounds.  Our research-based dog CD, after a study revealed dogs respond well to soft rock and reggae music. The ‘Paws. Play. Relax.’ CD is now played in many of our centres.

Read more about our Annual Review 2018 here.


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