Ferrets, snakes, rabbits, a squab, a tortoise and a number of cats sit side-by-side in neighbouring pens, many having been there for months awaiting new owners.
There are many reasons why these animals have found their way to the Angus, Fife and Tayside Rehoming Centre in Petterden – some of them are runaways and strays, while others have suffered abandonment, neglect or abuse.
Serving the whole of Courier Country, the Scottish SPCA facility is one of the charity’s smallest, but also among its busiest, and this summer it has been “chock-a-block” with animals.
In early August there were 18 cats in the care of the centre.
This number was reduced to 13 last week and nine on Tuesday but assistant manager Dale Christie said there is always another feline waiting for help.
The centre has also seen a big increase in the number of ferrets brought into its care throughout the summer months, with four currently housed there.
The animals are expert “escape artists” and can be used for pest control. As a result, they often go astray.
The centre is also looking after seven dogs, several reptiles and recently even re-homed a black cockerel called Merlin.
Mr Christie said the centre’s work is “continual”, adding: “We seem to be chock-a-block at the minute.
“(We’re faced with) all sorts of situations: abandonment, abuse cases, neglect. We are getting numerous phone calls a day as well – people wanting to hand animals in at the same time.
“Obviously, we have only got so much capacity here. We’re one of the smaller centres of the society, we can only take in so much at the same time. But we do cover one of the largest areas as well.”
Mr Christie added: “We’ve still got quite a few cats at the minute. There’s always new ones looking for new homes.
“Some of them are coming in as strays that have been found injured as well.
“Ones that do come in as strays, most of them don’t have microchips so there’s no way of getting them back to their home unless the owners are physically looking for them as well.
“Nine times out of ten, the owners don’t come back for them.”
Among the most recent residents was a polecat-ferret hybrid called Jupiter, a feisty but adorable animal who was found as a stray – and only re-homed in the past few days after several weeks at the centre.
He said: “Most of the ferrets coming in are coming in as strays. They are very good escape artists and if their hutch isn’t secure they will find a hole and they will work on that hole until they do escape.
“Other people do use them for working as well, on farms, and obviously if some of them don’t come back out the holes some of them do get left and they get found astray later on.”
He added, though they can only take in a small number of dogs, that “as soon as one leaves there’s another one to come in in its place straight away.”
To find out more about re-homing animals from Petterden, visit: https://www.scottishspca.org/rehome/our-centres/angus,-fife-and-tayside/