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Being a Scottish SPCA Inspector at Christmas

Scottish SPCA inspector looking at the camera and holding up and grey and white dog

Lesley tells us what it’s like being a Scottish SPCA inspector at Christmas time.

Over the festive period, for Scottish SPCA inspectors, Christmas day is no different to any other. Our dedication to Scotland’s Animals is at the forefront, 365 days a year. 

Scottish SPCA Inspector Lesley, looking at the camera and smiling whilst holding a small brown and white puppy

Every day, our inspectors go to the properties of pet owners for a variety of reasons. And sadly, over the festive period, animals need our help just as much. We give our complete commitment to securing the welfare of animals and we are also there to help struggling pet owners in any way we can. 

The festive period is seen as a time of fun and frivolity but, for many, it is a time of hardship and worry, especially during the current cost of living crisis. 

Our inspectors are meeting people every single day who are worrying about how to feed their pets, provide their vet care and, on top of this, are struggling to heat their homes, pay their bills and put food on the table. Christmas can bring additional stress and worry as people feel the expectation to buy gifts. Our inspectors can provide some hope and relief by directing struggling pet owners to food banks where they can get our Scottish SPCA Pet Aid food. This goes a long way to lightening the load for worried owners.

During the 2022 festive period I recall visiting a struggling pet owner who had called our animal helpline to find out how to sign her two dogs over to us, as she was unable to feed them. Her distress during the call was very evident and she felt she had nowhere to turn. I visited her and met two well cared for dogs, who were clearly loved. One was an elderly dog and one a few years old. 

The owner had found herself unexpectedly in a financial bind, like many pet owners across the country. She was using candles to light her home to save on inflated energy costs. Her worries for her dogs were so great that she was willing to let them go, just to make sure they were fed. Thankfully, I was able to direct her to foodbanks where she could get Pet Aid food. This gave her some respite and allowed her to get through a difficult period without having to lose her loyal, loving dogs. This was such a positive outcome for the owner and her dogs and it brought me a great sense of satisfaction. It really reminded me of why I do what I do, which is be there for Scotland’s animals.

I would like to extend huge gratitude and thanks to every single person who donates to the Scottish SPCA. The Scottish SPCA would not be able to provide services such as Pet Aid if it were not for the kindness and generosity of the general public. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do the job I do and help animals in need, and animals in our and care in the community would not be safe, fed and healthy.

Those who donate to our charity do not realise the far reach that their giving has and the impact it has on animals and pet owners. Anything donated, no matter how big or small, or whether it be money, food or any other items, makes a difference to the lives of animals. As an Inspector, these donations allow me to make that difference every day. 

We are fully aware of the financial challenges in the current climate and are very thankful that the people of Scotland still give to us daily. You are what makes a difference and with your ongoing support, we will continue to make a positive impact in the lives of Scotland’s animals, every day.


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If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

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