There are no formal national arrangements between vets in private practice in Scotland and the SSPCA but local arrangements are encouraged and the process for treating animals in emergency situations is as follows:

  • Sick or injured stray and pet animals are rescued by SSPCA Inspectors and Ambulance Drivers following emergency calls from the public to the Animal Helpline 03000 999 999
  • The SSPCA Animal Helpline refers emergency cases to local inspectors or rescue officers who are familiar with the logistics of the local area
  • During normal working hours (8am – 10pm, extended to 7am – 11pm from August 2012) rescued animals are taken to SSPCA ARRC and are treated by SSPCA contracted Veterinary Surgeons between the hours of 10am-4pm.  
  • The local inspectors and rescue officers will also take animals to local veterinary practices where necessary; local areas can sometimes be extensive and ARRCs are not in close proximity
  • If an inspector or rescue officer is unable to get to an animal, the member of public who called the Animal Helpline will be asked to take the animal to a local veterinary practice or ARRC
  • Where animals have been taken to local veterinary practices, the SSPCA will call the practice with a job number. If a job number is allocated, the SSPCA will refund the veterinary practice for administering pain relief and stabilising the animal only. If further treatment is required, the animal is collected by an inspector or rescue worker and treated at an ARRC
  • Animals treated at veterinary practices are always collected the next day by inspectors or rescue officers and taken to ARRCs for further treatment and re-homing
  • When emergency cases of injured or sick stray and wild animals arise Out of Hours, veterinary surgeons are often contacted directly by members of the public or the Police. The SSPCA Animal Helpline does not operate Out of Hours, therefore, the SSPCA will not be involved in emergency cases Out of Hours and veterinary practices are not entitled to refunds for emergency treatment.  However, the SSPCA will collect animals that have been treated Out of Hours the next day so vets are encouraged to administer pain relief and stabilise animals only so that animals can be collected and taken to ARRCs for further treatment and re-homing
  • Sick, injured and orphaned wildlife is treated and rehabilitated by the wildlife team at SSPCA Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fife.



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