Kirsteen Campbell joins the Scottish SPCA as figures show that last year calls to our animal helpline rose to an all-time high of almost a quarter of a million and our animal rescue officers and inspectors attended over 85,000 incidents.
Our annual review also shows a record number of wild animals rescued. The Society’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross cared for an incredible 9,359 wild animals in 2016, more than ever before.
Our Chief Executive Kirsteen Campbell said, “These figures show there is a growing demand for the vital services of the Scottish SPCA and I’m delighted to be part of such an invaluable charity.
“While it is true the majority of the Scottish public are animal lovers, the sad fact is that there remains a minority of people who think it is acceptable to be cruel to animals.
“In 2016 our investigations resulted in 74 successful prosecutions. While we welcome the recent increase in the number of people being banned from keeping animals, the sentences handed out are often hugely inconsistent. We believe that sentences should act as a deterrent to potential criminals and we are seeking more consistent penalties.
“Listening to stories of abused, abandoned and injured animals is just heart-breaking and I am proud to be joining a charity which has such a long and established history of making a real difference in Scotland.”
Kirsteen continued, “The breadth of work undertaken by the team here at the Scottish SPCA is remarkable. A staggering 5,806 animals were rehomed in 2016; everything from dogs and cats to small animals, birds, exotics and equines.
“We are continually enhancing our facilities and last year we partnered with the University of Glasgow to study the calming effects of music on dogs in our care. The research showed that reggae and soft rock were firm favourites with our canine residents. We are now planning on installing audio equipment across our nine animal rescue and rehoming centres.
“The Society also spoke to over 300,000 school children and visited 75% of Scottish primary schools through our free Prevention through Education programme. Further research with the University of Edinburgh has shown that our programme is having a positive impact on children’s knowledge, empathy, attitudes, responsibility towards animals and belief that animals have feelings.
“Whilst the Society has achieved an incredible amount there is still more to do. Tackling the multi million pound puppy trade industry is a priority. As part of a multi-agency task force we’ve made great strides. We are committed to helping bring an end to this terrible practice and securing better welfare for all dogs and puppies.
“We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Scottish Government, and other partners, on any initiatives that can help improve animal welfare standards in Scotland. “Everyone at the Scottish SPCA is humbled by the generous support of the Scottish public who generously donate to the Society and give up their valuable time to volunteer. In 2016 it cost £14.5 million to run the Society. Without these incredible supporters there simply would be no Scottish SPCA and no one to carry on our lifesaving work across Scotland.”
Kirsteen joins the Society from Skills Development Scotland where she held various roles over a seven year period, including head of communications and depute director of corporate affairs, culminating in the role of director of corporate services. Prior to this, Kirsteen worked in several marketing, sponsorship, brand development and brand reputation roles with AEGON, Guardian Royal Exchange and Multiply, a creative agency based in Edinburgh.
More information and a copy of our annual review can be found at /about/annual-review-2016/.