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Community / Bats and mice among SSPCA call-outs last year

TWO reports relating to bats and three calls about wild mice were some of the more unusual incidents animal welfare charity SSPCA attended in Shetland last year.

Figures provided to Shetland News show that officers received 264 reports of injured animals during the year, while there were 67 investigations into potential cruelty.

Seven species of bat have been recorded in Shetland, and they are an occasional visitor to the isles.

By far the most common animal type involved in calls to the SSPCA last year was wild birds, which accounted for 135 of the 445 individual reports.

Gulls made for nearly 50 reports, while there were 45 calls about hedgehogs.

Wild rabbits (30 reports), sheep (29), cats (27) and dogs (26) also kept officers busy.

As well as the bats and wild mice, there were three reports relating to owls, one incident with a ferret and six calls about otters.

When it comes to livestock there were three reports about cows, two about lambs and one regarding poultry. There were seven incidents relating to horses and ponies.

In Shetland the SSPCA has three part-time members of staff, with someone always available.

The charity previously operated a centre in Tingwall, but it shut in 2014.

Across Scotland the SSPCA had its busiest ever year, with around 235 reports of animals in need every day.

It has also experienced an increase in average days in care for all types of animals due to the impact of Covid-19 on animal cruelty prosecutions, meaning many of its nine rescue centres have been at capacity.

Nationally it has also seen an increase in calls from owners who are struggling to afford veterinary care and those struggling to cope with the behavioural issues animals purchased during lockdown now have.

As a result of the high activity the SSPCA has now launched a new fundraising campaign.