We are known as a nation of pet lovers – and it appears those living in Dundee and nearby surrounding areas are most keen to rehome rescue animals.
The Scottish SPCA, based at Petterden, is the fastest SSPCA centre when it comes to rehoming rescue pets, especially birds and smaller animals.
The centre, off the A90, takes in stray dogs, cats, small animals and birds, as well as animals which have been abandoned, abused or neglected.
A careful application process ensures that pets are matched with suitable owners and support is given to the owners on caring for their new pet.
Before they are put up for adoption the animals receive medical care, training and lots of love and affection to prepare them for their new home.
Birds which come into the centre often only stay for a day or two before a local bird lover takes them home – a fast turnover rate compared to other SSPCA centres.
Dale Christie, assistant manager, said: “Birds go very quickly. A lot of people up here have aviaries and can take on a large number of birds.”
Small animals at the centre, such as guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets, often get rehomed quickly too, however little Jules hasn’t had as much luck and has spent more than two months in the centre. The white furred and red eyed, one-year-old female ferret was found as a stray and brought to the centre.
Oscar, a male black rabbit thought to be between the ages of one to three-years-old, is also desperately in need of a loving home, having spent two long months at the centre.
Dogs take an average of one month to rehome, with unusual breeds being the quickest to find new owners. More common breeds such as Staffies or collies, or larger dogs, can take much longer.
Manager Elliot Hay expressed his concern that one of their current dogs, three-year-old lurcher Buddy might fall into that category. He said: “Buddy is very dog reactive and goes for small animals so he can’t go to a home with small animals, or young children.
“We are working with him and giving him training but he needs an experienced owner who can further continue this training. He’s not the usual lurcher, they are usually lazy but he has lots of energy and likes to go out a lot.”
Elliot said that if the dogs are not finding a home quickly he will take them to events to meet people, or sometimes switch them to another centre.
Kittens are snapped up, usually with new homes lined up ready for them to go to as soon as they are old enough, but older cats take three to four weeks on average.
That notion is reinforced at Cats Protection, on Foundry Lane, which rehomes around 500 cats per years, with each staying, on average, for three weeks at the centre.
Around one in five of those are found as strays and the other four come from a variety of situations – like nine-year-old Mylo who has been at the centre since April when his owner died.
Jo Girling, who has volunteered for more than 10 years, said: “Some cats just don’t sell themselves. It’s all about their personality – if they are friendly then everyone will want them.”