SCOTLAND’S leading animal welfare charity dealt with a record amount of calls to its animal helpline last month - and a staggering hike in the number of incidents its inspectors and animal rescue officers attended, it was revealed today.
The Scottish SPCA responded to 29,650 calls from the public in July - a 64 per cent increase on the previous year and a record for any month in the charity’s history.
During the month incidents attended by SSPCA staff also reached 11,847, a massive rise of 66 per cent in call outs compared with the same period in 2012.
Mike Flynn, the SSPCA’s Chief Superintendent, said: “Our resources were put under incredible strain throughout the month of July but thanks to the dedication of our helpline staff, inspectors and animal rescue officers we managed to respond to a record-breaking number of calls and incidents.”
He explained: “Calls to our helpline peaked on 17 July when 1,193 phone calls were taken in just one day. Over 53 per cent of the animal welfare concerns reported to us resulted in incidents and investigations while 47 per cent were handled with advice.”
Chief Supt Flynn said: “The spike in calls may be due, in part, to the exceptionally warm weather we experienced in July, which meant more people were spending longer periods of time outdoors and were more likely to notice animals in distress.
“A large proportion of our calls related to concerns for gull chicks,nestlings and fledglings, while we also received a significant number of reports of animal neglect, abandonment and cruelty.
“Our animal rescue and rehoming centres were also operating close to or at full capacity throughout the month of July, caring for a huge number of unwanted and abandoned cats, kittens and rabbits as well as a great many stray pet birds, snakes and tortoises.”
He continued; “”As we do not put healthy animals to sleep this means we currently have hundreds of animals now looking for loving new owners and we’ll continue to care for them until we can find them all good homes.
“Despite the tremendous amount of pressure we’ve been under this past month we are very pleased that more people than ever now know to call the Scottish SPCA if they see an animal in distress.
“This means we are able to help more animals more quickly than ever before which is a very positive step forward for animal welfare in Scotland.”