Licensing for animal rescue shelters

The Scottish SPCA is calling on the Scottish Government to introduce legislation to govern all animal rescue shelters.

It is our belief that all animal rescue shelters should be licensed and recent court cases show that the need for this is more prevalent than ever before.

Whilst we recognise that there are a number of successful and conscientious rescue shelters in Scotland, there are also a large number that do not meet the minimum welfare requirement of the animals in their care. Whether this is due to taking on more than they are able, or out of deliberate cruelty, it is us that have to investigate and pick up the pieces when they go wrong.

We believe that a robust licensing scheme would help prevent horror stories such as the Ayrshire Ark case and also provide the public extra confidence when supporting independent and larger shelters alike.

Every animal rescue shelter should be based on the welfare needs of the animals in their care and we urge the Scottish Government to review the current situation

We believe Scotland is a nation of animal lovers. As such, it can be difficult to discern legitimate rescue shelters from ones that are not focussed on animal welfare.

All Scottish charities are required to publish their annual accounts and abide by certain fundraising standards. A number of smaller rescues do not have charitable status and whilst a majority of them spend every penny directly on helping the animals in their care, a number of them do not.

If you have any welfare concerns regarding a rescue shelter or indeed any animal, please call our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

How can you help?

Like us, if you feel strongly on this issue we would urge you have your say on the proposed update to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.  You can do this here

For further information on your MSP visit:

Dog rescued by the Scottish SPCA with new family

Please help

You can help save abused, abandoned and injured animals in Scotland by making a monthly donation to the Scottish SPCA