Why the SSPCA is so Important for Scotland
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Ghandi.
The Scottish SPCA (SSPCA) is a charity for the prevention of cruelty to animals, and promotes animal welfare in Scotland.
The organisation was created in Edinburgh, in 1839, to relieve the pressure on working horses. Until 1988, the full amalgamation of the local SPCA came in 1988 to become what we know today as the SSPCA.
Earlier this year, the SSPCA reported a devastating increase in the number of animals they have saved from cruelty, with around half of the animals in need coming from illegal puppy farms across the country. Figures are rising so fast that last year the charity’s helpline resulted in frontline staff being sent out to more than 89,500 incidents.
According to The National newspaper, the SSPCA indicated that the illegal puppy trade remains a major concern for workers, and in the 302 animals rescued by SSPCA inspectors and undercover special investigations last year, almost half were victims of the illegal puppy trade.
The SSPCA worked closely with the Irish SPCA last year, to prevent a further 75 puppies from the illegal trade entering Scotland via Cairnryan Port, Ireland, and helped to rehome those victimized puppies in Ireland.
Also, due to the SSPCA’s watchful eye, 52 people were banned from owning animals last year.
SSPCA’s chief executive Kirsteen Campbell appealed the Scottish Government’s commitment to increase potential penalties for animal welfare offences, to tackle illegal puppy dealing and license animal sanctuaries. She said, “Animal cruelty cases can often take years to be heard in court. This is a real issue and the reason why we had more than 1000 animals in our care in 2017 with no home to go to because their owners had not yet faced trial.”
As the only animal charity in the UK to be recognised as a reporting agency to the Crown Office, the SSPCA helps various kinds of animals, including domestic, farm and wildlife.
Campbell said: “Our dedicated and expert animal rescue and rehoming staff ensure all the animals in our care receive the love, attention and veterinary treatment they need while they await their forever homes.”
A pet owner Sarah Woods said, “You can go day to day without realising that animals are being abused in Scotland. It’s not something you come across everyday. We are lucky here to have an organisation like the SSPCA to protect the welfare of our animals as they are so vulnerable. When I got my dog, I couldn’t believe the amount of dodgy looking puppy farms around my area. Even in the pictures the dogs looked miserable. It’s so sad people will cause harm to animals.”
Genoa Gray, a local resident said, “Although I don’t have any pets, I love animals. Too many animals are subjected to intolerable cruelty as people forget that animals too have rights. I think the SSPCA does a great job at protecting the welfare of animals, and it helps make our country more human than others.”
The SSPCA not only rescues thousands of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife, but also helps homeless and abandoned animals find a new home.
Just a few days ago, an SSPCA’s animal rescue officer, Elizabeth Lindsay, saved a wild fox which had its head wedged inside a plastic watering can. Elizabeth received a call from a kind member of the public that a little fox was in trouble at Ravenscraig Drive, Glasgow. When she arrived at the scene, she quickly got the watering can off to relieve the animal’s stress. Although the fox was unharmed and released straightaway, Elizabeth recommended that the public keep their garden tidy, as they could be endangering an animal’s life. She said: “This little fox was very lucky to have been discovered, as she would have perished otherwise. Recently my colleague was called to a fox caught in anti-weed fabric, and the little guy had already lost part of his leg before she got there.”
Besides rescuing wild creatures, the SSPCA also devotes itself to seek a suitable family for helpless pets. Lately, one of the organisation’s managers, Anna O’Donnell, is helping to rehome an American bulldog named Holly. Holly is between 2-3 years old, and has stayed in the Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre for several months. Anna said: “Holly has a few health problems such as hip dysplasia and spondylosis, so she can tire quickly, but she’s such a sweet girl with a very loving nature. We’re desperate to find her a loving forever home that she deserves.”