The Scottish SPCA has announced its inspectors and animal rescue officers will continue to attend emergency reports of animals in need throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity will also pioneer a fostering service for animals as it suspends rehoming in line with Scottish Government guidance on non-essential travel.
The measures come as the charity responds to the challenges created by the spread of Covid-19.
As of Tuesday 24 March, the Society’s nine animal rescue and rehoming centres will be closed to the public and rehoming will not take place during this time.
As part of the Society’s contingency plans, it has developed a fostering service with over 100 homes signed-up to take in all sorts of animals in the weeks ahead.
Scottish SPCA chief executive Kirsteen Campbell said: “During this unprecedented health crisis, we are committed to protecting animals and serving Scotland’s communities as best we can.
“In line with Government guidance, we must suspend rehoming activity to keep the public and our team safe.
“Our team planned for this and we are in a position to foster out suitable animals to loving homes until the pandemic is over.
“As our inspectors and rescue officers continue to attend to animals in need, there will still be animals coming in to our nine animal rescue and rehoming centres and our wildlife hospital.
“The fostering service will allow us to manage occupancy and staff workloads in the months ahead.
“Our animal helpline team is fully functional remotely and remains open every single day from 7am to 9pm to provide advice and support and to pass on jobs to our frontline teams. We have put protocols in place to support health, safety and well-being to limit face-to-face contact.
“Our education officers have not been in schools for the last week so they have been assisting our other teams across the Society by taking calls to our helpline and helping our wonderful staff on the frontline.
“This week we will be launching education resources to teach children and to assist teachers and parents at this uncertain time.
Kirsteen said: “Our website is full of information and advice so people can sometimes find the answer they need there without having to phone our helpline, especially around wildlife. But please do phone us if you are concerned an animal may still need our help.
“We are Scotland’s animal welfare charity, we are still here, we are still working and on-hand to provide support to those concerned about how they can care for their pet during this uncertain time.
“We will be in your community and we will be here as long as animals and people need us.”
The Scottish SPCA website is www.scottishspca.org and its animal helpline can be reached on 03000 999 999.