A new survey has revealed almost 1 in 4 Scots confuse the Scottish SPCA with the RSPCA.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity commissioned a survey of the public to assess how many people mixed up the organisations.
25% of respondents said they thought the Scottish SPCA was a part of the RSPCA, where as they are two entirely separate organisations.
The RSPCA operate in England and Wales only, but the poll, which was carried out by ScotPulse, showed 16% of people think they rescue animals in Scotland.
The survey, which questioned 1,144 Scots, also revealed 23% of people would call the RSPCA if they found an animal in distress.
The Scottish SPCA is aiming to raise awareness of the difference between the two charities as it appeals for public support and donations in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The charity, which turned 180 years old last December, is at the forefront of animal welfare.
Chief executive Kirsteen Campbell said: “Many of our frontline staff, whether out on the road rescuing animals or caring for them in centres, say members of the public confuse the Scottish SPCA with the RSPCA every day.
“We get around 200,000 calls to our Animal Helpline every year and this survey suggests as many as 50,000 of those people call and think we are a part of or the same as the RSPCA.
“We have a shared goal and a wonderful relationship with the RSPCA and work hand-in-hand with them to take on some of the most critical animal welfare issues of our time, such as puppy farming.
“But we think it is important people understand that, whilst our counterparts do fantastic work in England and Wales, we are the only national animal welfare charity in Scotland investigating animal cruelty, rescuing domestic and wild animals, tackling organised crime and delivering a free education programme.”
The Scottish SPCA, which is entirely funded by public donations, is continuing to respond to emergency reports of animals in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Kirsteen added: “Lockdown has forced us to completely change the way we do our essential work. In the past few weeks, we’ve responded to around 2,000 reports of animals in need and we still have hundreds of animals in our care across our rescue and rehoming centres.
“We will continue to fulfil our duty to animals for however long this lasts. As long as animals need us, we’ll be there.”
Last year, the Scottish SPCA responded to over 82,000 reports of animals in need. The charity rehomed just under 5,000 animals and treated over 11,000 wild animals at its world-leading national wildlife hospital. It’s education programme reached over 200,000 children across Scotland and investigations in to illicit puppy farming helped recover £1.5m for HMRC.