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Concerns Raised over Closure of SSPCA Re-Homing Centre Caithness

Despite a petition to save the Balmore SSPCA Re-homing Centre from closure which reached 3,774 signatures the SSPCA has closed this vital facility. The nearest centre is now in Inverness. Any animals being re-homed from/to Orkney would have a long and perhaps stressful journey.

Orkney Constituency MSP, Lib Dem Liam McArthur has joined in the calls after concerns were raised by islanders. He has written  to the CEO of the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Liam McArthur said:

“I understand that the decision to close Balmore will not now be reversed. However, it’s still not too late for the SSPCA to consult properly and widely on all the possible options for minimising the negative effects of this decision on animal welfare in the islands and the Far North.

“As the number of animals being signed over to the SSPCA locally increases, the closure of Balmore could not have come at a worse time. There must now be a real risk that pet owners will be less willing to cooperate with local agencies if their animal faces the prospect of a lengthy journey to the central belt. That would be a real concern.

“A consultation with local vets, animal welfare officers, SSPCA staff and the wider public could identify alternative options to transferring animals south or putting them out to foster homes. That is a prize worth pursuing and I urge the SSPCA to engage with local stakeholders in the interests of animal welfare in the islands.”

The Balmore centre provided a refuge for rescue animals across the north of Scotland, it had:

  • 8 dog kennels
  • 6 cattery spaces
  • A small animal room
  • Numerous rabbit hutches
  • A washroom for cleaning oiled birds and domestic animals
  • A holding facility for wild animals to stay until they can be transported to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre for medical treatment.

The SSPCA is struggling, like most charities, with rising costs. Its Re-homing service is often used by people who can no longer care for their beloved pet. It is also used by people who wish to offer a place in their own home to an animal in care.

You can find our more about the SSPCA and donate to their work here: Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

image credit Peakpx

Fiona Grahame

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