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SPONSORED: Don’t forget the animals: Help The SSPCA change animals’ lives for the better

The SSPCA continues to rescue and rehome animals across Scotland on a daily basis, helping to prevent cruelty to pets and offering support to owners in need.

With generous donations, they are able to rehabilitate animals who have been mistreated or forgotten, giving them a second chance at life – and happiness.

Here, we share the stories of Buddy and Sukie, two loveable animals who have now, thanks to the arduous efforts and care of the SSPCA, found love and contentment in their forever homes.

Buddy the lurcher

Buddy the lurcher came in to the care of the Scottish SPCA with his mum, Lexi, after their previous owner was struggling to care for them. They arrived seriously underweight with a nasty skin condition.

The team at the charity’s Angus, Fife and Tayside Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre immediately put them both on a strict diet to get them to a healthy weight and vets treated their skin disorders.

From his behaviour, the team suspected Buddy must have had negative experiences with other dogs and may have been attacked in the past. He would get very nervous and defensive and would react out of fear.

But behind the behavioural issues, it was clear Buddy was a loving dog who adored human attention. Buddy charmed everyone he came in to contact with and the team knew he had the potential to be the perfect companion for the right person.

Staff at the centre worked hard with Buddy to socialise him and get him used to canine company. The rehabilitation process took many months and was taken at Buddy’s pace. The expert team is used to handling reactive dogs like Buddy and with patience and perseverance, Buddy was soon able to go on walks outside the centre with other dogs.

While the team was working with Buddy, there had unfortunately been very little interest in anyone wanting to give him a home. He saw many of his canine friends, including Lexi, go to their forever homes but poor Buddy remained at the centre.

After a year in the care of the centre outside Dundee, the decision was made to relocate Buddy to see if he might do better at another of the Scottish SPCA’s nine rescue centres across Scotland. Buddy was taken to the Highlands and Islands Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

The team there continued the amazing work already done with the lonely lurcher. After over 500 days, Donna spotted Buddy on the website and knew she had to apply. After meeting him, she immediately knew he was supposed to go home with her.

Sookie the saluki

Another sighthound that found itself in the care of the centre was Sookie the saluki. She had the opposite problem of Buddy. She loved other dogs but wasn’t so keen on humans.

Sookie was found as a stray in the Aberdeen area and was incredibly timid and nervous when she arrived. She wasn’t hand tame and was very shy and afraid of people. The team suspect she was very badly treated in her previous home.

Sookie was at her happiest when she was around other dogs so she spent as much time as possible in canine company. She loved to be off-lead with other dogs in the centre’s play area.

To help with her rehabilitation, she was fostered by a member of the team who had two dogs at home.

The process was very gradual but Sookie, witnessing how the team interacted with other dogs, drew further out of her shell. She was made to feel as comfortable as possible and small but steady steps were made. She soon happily took treats from the hands of staff.

Sookie was finally ready to be rehomed and she found her loving forever home with a family with another saluki.

As much as the team adored these two animals, the amazing care provided is no substitute for a secure and loving home.

This year has been tough. In spite of the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish SPCA has continued to do everything they can to care for domestic, farm and wild animals in need.

Many of the thousands of animals the Scottish SPCA cares for have been rescued from circumstances where they have been mistreated, abused or neglected. Please, don’t forget about these animals this Christmas.

Become a member of the Scottish SPCA and give animals a second chance. For £5 a month you can help to rescue, feed, care for, and rehome animals like Buddy and Sookie.

For more information on the work carried out by the SSPCA, and to find out how you can help, visit their website.