Our dedicated inspectors

Did you know Scottish SPCA inspectors are on the beat across the whole country? From Shetland to the Scottish Borders, they respond to reports of animals in need, support humans who need help with their pets and more.

What powers do our inspectors have?

The Scottish SPCA is unique among animal charities in that it is the only one which is a reporting agency to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal. Under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, our inspectors have powers to enter and search properties under warrant, seize animals and issue Animal Welfare Notices. This makes our inspectors experts in gathering evidence too.

Whilst we have powers to remove animals from their owners, we only exercise that as a total last resort. In most cases, our inspectors are able to offer advice and assistance and resolve any concerns that way. But when that’s not possible, they are ready to step in for the sake of mistreated animals. 

Supporting people and animals 

Only a tiny fraction of the cases our inspectors take on are reported for prosecution, and it is far more common for the them to come across ‘unintentional cruelty’, where people just may not know how to take care of their pet properly. 

Our inspectors work with pet owners to show them what steps they can take to build this bond with their own animals. From people living with small domestic animals in cities and towns, to farmers with dozens of livestock in rural areas, our inspectors are an adaptable bunch who can help out any person and animal in need. 

In some sad instances, people are simply no longer able to cope with looking after a pet. This may be down to ill-health or a change in circumstances. When this happens, our inspectors may collect an animal to take in to our care. 

How do our inspectors pick up and investigate cases?

  1. When someone calls our animal helpline to report concerns of neglect, the operator will advise if the job should be assigned to an inspector. 
  2. The inspector will arrange to visit the address in question to check on any animals present. If the owner isn’t around, they’ll leave a message to get in touch as soon as possible.
  3. Depending on what they find, an inspector will provide advice, issue a welfare notice or, in serious cases, seize the animals. They may also decide there are no welfare concerns. 

If there are major welfare concerns, the inspector will gather evidence, consult with vets and determine whether or not the owner should be reported for prosecution.