The Scottish SPCA has hailed its first animal rescue and rehoming centre in the North East as a "vital addition to the local community" and called on would-be owners to consider taking on a rescue pet rather than buy from a pet shop or breeder.
Scotland's animal welfare charity today opened the doors of its new centre at Drumoak.
Our Aberdeenshire centre will care for dogs, cats, horses, birds, reptiles and small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets. It also has dedicated puppy and kitten facilities.
Centre manager Graeme Innes said, "Our animal rescue and rehoming centre will be a vital addition to the local community and help thousands of abused and abandoned animals find loving new homes in the years to come.
"We already have dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and rodents in our care looking for new owners and we'll soon have a wide variety of other animals as well.
"Our message to would-be owners in the North East is to think about taking on a rescued pet.
"There are lots of pet shops and breeders they can go to but there are also animals in desperate need of a second chance in life.
"That's why we're here and we'll be delighted to welcome the public through our doors and tell them about the wonderful animals in our care."
Scottish SPCA Superintendent Sharon Comrie said the £2 million centre near Banchory was the culmination of years of planning and revealed it had been made possible by a legacy.
"We identified the need for an animal rescue and rehoming centre in the North East several years ago but needed to find a suitable site and one which would achieve planning permission.
"The land our centre has been built on was donated to our charity through an extremely generous legacy, for which we will be forever grateful and which will help save the lives of countless defenceless animals.
"We would also like to thank all of our supporters whose donations have helped build our centre.
"Prior to opening our centre, animals we rescued in the North East had to be taken to other local organisations or transferred to our centres in either Inverness or Angus.
"This wasn't ideal due to the associated costs to our charity and, in particular, due to long distances many animals had to travel.
"We are now able to offer local people the opportunity to give new homes to these animals and ensure they receive the care and respect they deserve.
"Our centre will also be a base for our local inspectors and ambulance drivers, who investigate cruelty to animals and rescue animals in distress."