SSPCA warning to future pet owners
Pet owners in Wee County have been warned to factor in increased veterinary costs when choosing to adopt or purchase a pet.
The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) issued the warning after seeing calls from owners contacting their helpline because they could not afford increased costs for medical treatment.
The Scottish animal welfare charity says calls more than doubled last year, from 59 in 2020 to 141 in 2021.
Mike Flynn, Chief Superintendent of the Scottish SPCA, said: “While we know Scotland is a nation of animal lovers, and most people think carefully before tackling an animal, unfortunately , the lockdown saw some people adopt or purchase animals without considering fees.
“Some members of the public are happy to save hundreds or even thousands of pounds to cover the initial expense of purchasing an animal without realizing that the animal will need veterinary care for the rest of its life.
“As a charity, while we do our best to help where we can, unfortunately we just don’t have the funds or resources to help people pay the vet costs.
“We would really urge people to think carefully about the lifetime cost of owning an animal before bringing it into their lives. Even young and apparently healthy animals can become ill or be involved in an accident resulting in unexpected veterinary bills.
“We also recommend that people take out pet insurance for any pets they own to give themselves peace of mind if something goes wrong.
The Scottish SPCA is well aware of the costs of veterinary treatment.
As a Scottish animal charity, they have cared for nearly 8,000 pets in 2020 at their nine animal rescue and relocation centers, many of which are said to have needed extensive veterinary treatment and rehabilitation before they are ready to be fired.
Ian Futter, Scottish SPCA’s chief veterinarian, said: “Even minor operations such as dental surgery can cost over £ 500 for a dog or cat.
“We also do a lot of spay and neuter surgeries that cost between £ 150 and £ 350 for a dog and between £ 80 and £ 150 for a cat.
“Unfortunately, with the popularity of brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs, we now need to perform more obstructive airway disease surgery just to allow these dogs to breathe.
“This surgery can cost anywhere in the region of £ 2,000 to £ 4,000.
“We cannot stress enough how important it is for new owners to be aware of these costs and to ensure they have the right level of pet insurance in place for their pet.”