The Scottish SPCA is working to keep you and your pet safe – and provide free, fun online information for schoolchildren.
Guidance for animal owners related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has been published by the Scottish Government.
All animals owners are advised to:
- consider how they would continue to care for their animals if self-isolating
- keep dogs from self-isolating households on a lead when in public
- follow general hygiene measures
As everyone must observe social distancing rules, all animal owners should take time to consider suitable areas to walk or exercise their pets, avoiding contact with other people.
The Scottish SPCA, which provides a vital service to animals in need, to vulnerable pet owners and to schools and communities across Scotland, should be the first point of contact for anyone concerned about their pet or a wild animal.
In 2019, the Society attended over 220 incidents per day and cared for more than 20,000 animals across their rescue centres and wildlife hospital. In Argyll & Bute the charity responded to nearly 23,000 incidents involving animals and 173,491 calls to its helpline from local people. In addition to this it carried out 11,120 wildlife rescues across the constituency and rehomed 1,042 animals in this area.
Earlier this month the SSPCA’s nine animal rescue and rehoming centres became closed to the public unless by pre-arranged appointment. They also temporarily stopped accepting used blankets or towels as donations. These precautionary measures are designed to make sure their dedicated animal welfare experts can still be in centres to look after animals and receive emergencies, the animal helpline team are able to provide assistance every day and their committed inspectors and animal rescue officers can still be on-hand to rescue animals in need. The SSPCA has been monitoring the spread of the virus for some time and taken steps to ensure all of their centres were well stocked in terms of specialised food and veterinary supplies.
In addition, their education team have been busy developing a suite of fun, curriculum linked activities which pupils and parents can access online. This comes alongside various virtual learning initiatives to maintain engagement and help support schools and inspire young minds across Scotland. The SSPCA wants to help ensure their resources are of benefit in teaching animal welfare but also in supporting pupil development in line with the Curriculum for Excellence. These resources once available can be downloaded from here: https://www.scottishspca.org/education-resources
If you have any concerns about the impact of coronavirus on caring for your pet then please visit the FAQs page (https://www.scottishspca.org/coronavirus) or phone the animal helpline on 03000 999 999. There will be someone to talk to from 7am-10pm every day.
More information for pet owners is below:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Government Advice for pet owners in self-isolation is available on the Scottish Government website.
Livestock Owners can contact the Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution on 0300 111 4166 (7am – 11pm) or visit the Royal Scottish Agriculture Benevolent Institution website.
Currently there is no evidence that livestock or companion animals such as dogs and cats can be infected with coronavirus.
Guidance for beekeepers is also available on the Scottish Government website.