Re­gion is the pu­ur­fect home for res­cue pets

The Galloway News - - DISTRICT NEWS -

MARC MCLEAN An­i­mal lovers across Dum­fries and Gal­loway gave a home to more than 1,000 pets from res­cue cen­tres last year.

A to­tal of 1,085 an­i­mals were re­homed in 2018, thanks to house­hold­ers who got in touch with Scot­tish So­ci­ety for the Preven­tion of Cru­elty to An­i­mals (SSPCA).

Mean­while, the SSPCA re­united 291 lost an­i­mals with their own­ers in the re­gion.

A team of 13 SSPCA in­spec­tors at­tended 554 in­ci­dents lo­cally to look after the wel­fare of an­i­mals while there were also 943 ac­tive mem­bers sup­port­ing the char­ity in last year.

The fig­ures were pro­duced by the SSPCA in a re­port high­light­ing the work done in the area last year. The study also re­vealed that 1,553 chil­dren took part in the SSPCA’s free ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme after an­i­mal work­ers vis­ited 20 pri­mary schools last year.

Fin­lay Car­son, MSP for Gal­loway and West Dum­fries, re­cently spent a day shad­ow­ing the work of a SSPCA of­fi­cer Paul Tuchewizc.

He said: “It is heart­en­ing to see the ex­cel­lent work the SSPCA are car­ry­ing out across Dum­fries and Gal­loway all year round.

“I was lucky enough to shadow lo­cal of­fi­cer Paul Tuchewizc re­cently and helped res­cue an in­jured swan, visit a premises to in­ves­ti­gate re­ports of a dog and a cat in dis­tress.

“With over 1,000 an­i­mals re­homed and al­most 300 re­united with their own­ers, I praise lo­cal of­fi­cers who work to pro­tect the wel­fare of our pets and wild an­i­mals.

“I was also pleased to see that of­fi­cers have at­tended many schools across the re­gion as it is im­por­tant our young­sters know the importance of en­sur­ing good an­i­mal wel­fare par­tic­u­larly rais­ing aware­ness of and tack­ling the il­le­gal puppy trade which re­mains a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue in my con­stituency.

“I’ll con­tinue to sup­port the SSPCA in all the great work they do.”

Mean­while, the SSPCA has re­vealed many an­i­mals caught up in court pro­ceed­ings can spend months wait­ing to be re­homed.

Scotland’s an­i­mal wel­fare char­ity has high­lighted the cost and im­pact on an­i­mal wel­fare in­curred un­der the le­gal pa­ram­e­ters of the An­i­mal Health and Wel­fare (Scotland) Act 2006.

The Scot­tish SPCA has fully en­dorsed pro­pos­als to al­low an­i­mal sanc­tu­ar­ies to re­home res­cued an­i­mals much more quickly and to in­crease the maximum pos­si­ble sen­tence for the worst cru­elty of­fences from 12 months to five years.

Scot­tish S PCA chief su­per­in­ten­dent, Mike Flynn, said: “All an­i­mals re­ceive an in­cred­i­ble amount of love, at­ten­tion and care from our ded­i­cated staff but spend­ing hun­dreds of days in a res­cue cen­tre is not ben­e­fi­cial to the wel­fare of an an­i­mal and it is no sub­sti­tute for a lov­ing home and fam­ily.

“It costs the so­ci­ety an aver­age of £15 per dog per day in our care, ex­clud­ing ve­teri­nary fees. When you con­sider hun­dreds of dogs are spend­ing hun­dreds of days in our care, it is ev­i­dent it costs us hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds per year to care for them.

“Un­der the new pro­pos­als, we would be able to re­home these dogs and other an­i­mals within weeks. This would al­le­vi­ate pres­sure on the So­ci­ety financiall­y and on our res­cue and re­hom­ing cen­tres by free­ing up space more quickly.”

On the road MSP Fin­lay Car­son, right, shad­ow­ing SSPCA of­fi­cer Paul Tuchewizc

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