Region is the puurfect home for rescue pets
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