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What it's like working on our animal helpline

Animal helpline

Hear what it’s like to be on our animal helpline from Natalie.


What does a typical day look like?

Every day is different on our helpline, so we always need to be prepared. We can receive calls regarding any type of animal in any situation so we need to make sure all of our advice is expert and up to date.

What are the most common reports you deal with?

This depends on the time of year. In autumn and winter, it is common to get calls about swans looking like they are stuck to the ice on a pond or seabirds looking bedraggled and windswept from high winds. In the spring and summer months, we can expect calls regarding lambs, nesting birds, fledglings and fox cubs starting to explore their surroundings.

Baby birds

What are the most difficult calls to deal with?

Taking reports of serious neglect or cruelty cases can be heart breaking, especially as callers are often understandably upset. The good thing about these situations is that we know we are here to help and our inspectors will do everything they can to ensure the welfare of these animals.


How much strain is the Scottish SPCA’s helpline under?

Since covid and now the cost-of-living crisis, our helpline is under more pressure than ever. So many people are struggling to look after their pets so are reaching out to us for help and advice. Many people who are struggling to care for their pet sometimes don’t know they can speak to us for help, so we also receive many reports regarding neglected pets. Our helpline staff do an incredible job answering the high volume of calls and getting help for animals in need.

Pets and people

How can people help?

People can help by joining our rescue team. This could be by making a donation or becoming a member to help keep our helpline running, but it could also be by being our eyes and ears to report concerns.

Our helpline runs 365 days a year, so it is also important for the public to know when they actually don’t need to call us so we can make sure operatives are always available. We have a vast amount of advice on our website as well as regular updates on our social media platforms.

If the public are more informed on what to do in certain situations, this may decrease the number of calls to our helpline and in turn, reduce the strain on our helpline and helpline staff. All of this will help us do our job better and rescue more of Scotland’s animals in need.

Become a rescuer today: 

Report any concerns to our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.




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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