Dear Veterinary Surgeon

The Scottish SPCA is delighted to announce the launch of our new fostering programme, which will go live in August 2021, and we would like to invite you and your practice to opt in to this programme by agreeing to register one of our foster animals when approached by one of our foster carers. Many of our foster carers are very likely to already be on your client list or have been so in the past.

Our fostering programme will help to play a vital role in the rehabilitation of the animals in our care and improve their chance of finding a forever home. Some animals do not cope well within the animal rescue and rehoming centre environment. Others have come from situations where they may not have been well socialised with humans or other animals and others may never have experienced the care and affection they deserve. Our fostering programme will allow our animals to receive care and attention in a happy, stable and safe home environment. This will help build confidence and teach them behaviours so they are better suited to find their new home. 

We hugely value and respect the veterinary profession in Scotland; without you, we simply would not be able to achieve many of our goals. Every day we ask vets to see and treat animals for us and we pride ourselves on being prompt in paying invoices when they come to us, as we know how important this is to the well-being of practice finances.

We have partnered with Pawsquad to provide 24/7 veterinary triage support to our foster carers and also with Vets Now to provide any emergency out of hours veterinary care for our foster animals but there may be occasions where a foster animal requires veterinary treatment during the daytime. In these instances, our foster carer will be asked to contact their own veterinary practice with which they already have an on-going relationship.

Although our foster carers will be acting on our behalf, the Scottish SPCA will retain the legal ownership of the animal. It is therefore important that we are informed of any illnesses/injuries and veterinary treatment the foster animal receives and given an opportunity to decide what is appropriate under the individual circumstances. Whilst the Scottish SPCA is responsible for the health and welfare of the animal, there are limited resources at our disposal. We depend entirely on public donations and receive no money from the Government or other agencies to support our work. It is essential that we use our resources responsibly and efficiently by taking a pragmatic approach to all the clinical cases, we deal with.

The Scottish SPCA will pay for any treatment required for our foster animals based on the criteria outlined below:

Emergency care

1.   In some circumstances, our foster carer may not have been able to contact the Scottish SPCA prior to visiting your Practice. Under these circumstances, the Scottish SPCA will pay for necessary emergency treatment, diagnostic testing or procedures up to the value of £500 in the first instance.  Beyond that, an approved representative of the Scottish SPCA will be required to provide consent. The Scottish SPCA should be contacted as soon as it becomes possible the following day to discuss the case. This may be initially by the foster carer or, if the animal is kept in overnight accommodation by the Practice, preferably by a member of the Practice team.

2.   In situations where an animal’s prognosis for recovery to a state of a good or acceptable quality of life is poor, or at best guarded, we reserve the right to decline consent to on-going veterinary treatment. We may request the animal is either euthanised or returned into Scottish SPCA care, whichever is least likely to compromise their welfare.

In all other circumstances

3.   Where the foster carer has informed the Scottish SPCA of the animal’s illness or injury and has been advised to attend the Veterinary Practice, the Scottish SPCA will pay for the initial consultation and treatment up to the value of £200. Beyond that, an approved representative of the Scottish SPCA will be required to provide consent. The Scottish SPCA must be informed by the foster carer of the details of the visit including treatment given, tests and treatments recommended and the predicted cost of any of this immediately after this initial visit. We will then decide on the course of action to be taken which may include: to agree to the proposed treatment plan; to direct the foster carer to return the animal back into Scottish SPCA care; or to attend a Scottish SPCA Vet Clinic to allow a follow-up examination by one of the Scottish SPCA vets.

4.   Only treatment consented to by the Scottish SPCA should be undertaken; and only treatment consented to will be paid for by the Scottish SPCA.

5.   In some circumstances, it will be possible for diagnostic tests to be performed by our own in-house team of vets. Therefore, we ask that you do not proceed with any tests or treatments that are not immediately necessary to secure the welfare of the animal, before discussing these with us.

6.   We also ask that you avoid prescribing long courses of treatment, as it is possible for us to supply medications from our own pharmacy to animals ultimately in our care; in practice, this means any course of treatment that is more than 10 days duration.


The Scottish SPCA will pay for the treatment outlined above. In order to verify that the foster carer is part of the Scottish SPCA Fostering Programme they will provide you with a copy of their fostering welcome pack which will have details of the animal on page four. We ask that you note the animal reference number and check that the breed and description of animal match the animal you have been presented with and that no obvious alterations have been made to this information.

In addition, we ask that you scan the animal to check the microchip number matches with the microchip number detailed in the foster carer’s pack. The microchip will be registered to the Scottish SPCA. If this does not match or it is not registered to the Scottish SPCA please call us before invoicing on 0300 999 999.

Please provide the animal reference number and microchip number on the invoice when invoicing us and these can be emailed or posted to us at the below address:

Sharon Moore

Purchase ledger officer

Scottish SPCA

Kingseat Road



KY11 8RY

Tel : 01383 841006

Email :


Contacting the Scottish SPCA

The Scottish SPCA can be contacted seven days a week from 8am-4pm on 03000 999 999 Option 3. Our Helpline team will be able to provide you with advice or speak with our team at our animal rescue and rehoming centres regarding your enquiry. We aim to return any calls within 15 minutes.

You can also email us at, which may be useful, if you need to send us any clinical details for the purpose of consent, details of treatment already carried out including cost, clinical notes, x-rays and quotes for any treatment pending. Clinical notes can be attached in the form of Word or PDF files and x-rays and images should be in the form of jpeg files.

Please enter in the subject field ‘Veterinary Notes for Scottish SPCA Foster Animal (6-digit Animal Reference Number)’. If you know the name of the member of staff whom you wish to receive the email, please state this at the beginning of the email.

We really appreciate all of your help and support with our fostering programme and look forward to working with you.

Kind Regards,

Ian Futter signature





Ian Futter

Chief veterinary officer

Scottish SPCA