A Tayside animal lover is taking people on a virtual tour of her 47 years with the Scottish SPCA.
Sharon Comrie is the animal welfare charity’s longest-serving member of staff, and will next week give people in lockdown a chance to see behind-the-scenes at the SSPCA.
Over the years Sharon has held a number of different roles – she started off as a volunteer and has worked as the animal rescue and rehoming centre superintendent, and is now the charity’s head of partnership relations.
She said: “I’m over the moon to be able to host these tours and show people what life is like working with animals at the Scottish SPCA.
“I’ll be joined by special guests, including amazing colleagues from across our society who carry out life-saving work in our vet department and who help us deliver our internationally-recognised education programme.
“I’m looking forward to sharing my stories that show the breadth of the work we do and just how incredible animals are.”
One of her favourite stories involves Paddy, a puppy she first met in 1995.
“He was a black and white lurcher dog that came into our centre in Dundee at only seven or eight weeks old.
“He was an absolute sweetheart but he was very unwell with parvovirus,” said Sharon.
“Paddy needed a lot of veterinary attention.
“There were many times we didn’t think he was doing to make it.
“We actually lost him briefly but managed to revive him.
“As Paddy was so ill, and I didn’t want to take him home and put my own dogs at risk, I stayed the night in the kennels with Paddy for two or three nights.
“I just couldn’t leave the poor wee boy on his own.”
She added: “Thankfully, he started to improve.
“He was the most beautiful dog with big floppy paws and it was hard not to fall in love with him.
“Around eight weeks later, a gentleman and his family came in and did just that.
“They took him home shortly after.”
About six or seven years later, Sharon was outside a local shop when she heard an almighty noise – howling, squealing and scraping.
“I looked over at a car that had its window down and this black and white dog was trying to force its way out the window,” she said.
“The next thing I knew, it jumped out of the window, ran to me and leapt into my arms.
“It was Paddy!
“He had remembered me after all those years.
“The owner and I were standing together in tears at this beautiful moment.
“It was so touching, I almost burst when I think about it.”
Sharon added: “I will remember that moment for as long as I live.
“And that is what this job is all about, making the lives of animals better, and I cannot wait to tell people all about it.”
The SSPCA’s virtual tour will take place on Zoom on Tuesday May 26 from 6.30pm until 7.30pm, and on Thursday May 28 from 5.30pm until 6.30pm.
Those interested are asked to register online at www.scottishspca.org/tour
There will also be a mini quiz to test people’s knowledge of animals.