There was no rest for animal rescue centre workers this Christmas.
For the Scottish SPCA’s Ayrshire and South West Scotland Animal Rescue centre had 19 animals in its care on Christmas Day.
And it was business as usual for the dedicated staff at the Ayr-based centre.
For both the rescue and rehoming sides of the centre are open to the public all year round.
Centre manager, Marion Hainey, explained: “It’s a sad reality that there are lots of animals without loving homes to call their own this Christmas time.
“Thanks to our staff, no animal here spent Christmas Day alone – and they all got a wee treat from Santa too.”
Volunteers and staff spent their Christmas caring for all the abandoned and abused animals that currently living in the centre at Mainholm.
Marion continued: “It’s simply not an option for us to close over the holidays as the animals here rely on us and they don’t have anywhere else to go.
“We’re here for all the animals in our care throughout Christmas and New Year, ensuring they’re fed, watered and exercised every day as usual.
“There is also the task of washing down the kennels, cleaning out the catteries and other enclosures and ensuring animals receive any necessary vet treatment.”
The SSPCA stop rehoming young animals, such as puppies and kittens, over the festive period, to try and stop impulse purchases of pets for presents at Christmas.
For sadly, all too often the charity are asked to take in the animals after the excitement of the pet has worn off.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Taking on a pet is a commitment for that animal’s lifetime and new owners should ensure they have the time and resources they need and understand their responsibilities.
““It’s another upsetting reality that in the weeks and months after Christmas our centres are often asked to take in puppies, kittens and other pets given as presents once the novelty has worn off.
“Or, even worse, some of these pets are abandoned and left to fend for themselves.
“Clearly, in these instances the owners hadn’t realised that the young pet which was great fun at Christmas would need to be housetrained and properly socialised and that this would require effort on their part.
“Our message is pets are a long-term commitment and responsibility, not presents which can be given on Christmas Day and forgotten about soon afterwards.”
But that doesn’t mean the SSPCA stop caring for the animals.
Marion added: “We’ll continue to take in abandoned, neglected, injured and unwanted animals who have been rescued by our inspectors and animal rescue officers.
“Although we aren’t rehoming young animals between December 20 and January 3, they can be reserved and there are lots of other pets in our care ready to find their forever homes right now.
“People are very welcome to pop in to the centre if they think they could offer one of our animals a second chance at happiness.”
The Scottish SPCA’s Ayrshire and South West Scotland Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre outside Ayr is open 10am to 4pm, seven days a week.