Scottish SPCA helps heal broken bones and broken hearts

A ‘skinny’ dog with dental disease, swollen joints, and a fever has been successfully treated and rehomed after being rescued by the Scottish SPCA.

Sunday, 3rd October 2021, 7:00am
Scottish SPCA helps heal broken bones and broken hearts
Red, as he was after he first arrived at the Scottish SPCA after being found abandoned in Fife.

The Scottish SPCA works tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate broken animals, which is the theme for its latest campaign.

Many animals arrive in the care of the society having suffered for a long time and arrive physically and mentally damaged.

It’s the job of Scotland’s animal welfare charity to help put broken animals back together again by providing treatment and sometimes months of rehabilitation.

There are 11 vets who work for the charity, providing specialist care to the animals in need who arrive at the Scottish SPCA.

Some arrive with diseases, others with accidental wounds and some arrive with intentional injuries inflicted by humans.

And Red, a saluki cross, is representative of the stories of many animals taken in by the charity. He was found abandoned on a single-track road in Dunfermline. He was very skinny and lethargic when he was found.

An examination by a vet revealed that Red was suffering from painful, swollen joints, dental disease and a fever which was initially believed to be caused by an infection.

Red needed months of veterinary care over the time he was with the Society. If he had been cared for at a private veterinary clinic, it would have cost in excess of £5000.

Poor Red didn’t respond well to his initial treatment and he failed to gain weight, so required many more diagnostic tests.

Jo Neilson, senior vet, said: “Red was in our care for nine months while we investigated and then treated his various medical problems.

"This included him having a relapse when we thought we might lose him. Our teams get very emotionally invested in the animals we care for and it’s times like these that are the hardest.

"He was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and needed a long course of treatment and regular blood tests but thankfully he pulled through.

“Such is the bond we build up with the animals we care for, one of our veterinary care assistants, Lynsey, fell in love with him and couldn’t bear to be parted with him. Red went home with Lynsey and now has all the love he could ask for.

“Sadly, Red’s story is not an isolated case. Many animals arrive with us when they are literally broken.

“Some have suffered for a long time, carrying physical and emotional scars. Animals can’t tell us where it hurts, why they’re sick or why they’re scared.

“It’s our job to uncover what has happened to the animals and what treatment they need.

“Red’s happy ending is the best possible outcome for us. To see the broken animals who arrive with us go on to loving forever homes. It’s the reason we do what we do. We don’t just fix broken bones. We fix broken hearts too.”

The Scottish SPCA receives no government funding and is entirely reliant on donations from the public.

To find out more about the Broken campaign and becoming a member of the Scottish SPCA, visit

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