Along with the charity’s eight other centres across Scotland, on 17 May the Balerno centre will move from being completely closed to the public to allowing people in on an appointment only basis.
While online rehoming will remain the default, the Society will now allow those without internet access or who are unable to complete the application form online to telephone the centre on 03000 999 999 to arrange an appointment. This appointment will allow members of the public to view suitable animals via a tablet at the centre and get assistance from staff to complete the online application form if needed.
Between March and December 2020 the number of animals re-homed by the Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre fell by around 35 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. It’s hoped that this partial reopening will make it easier for long-term residents like D'Artagnan the rabbit to find his forever home.
Manager of the centre, Diane Aitchison, said: “We’re delighted to start welcoming people back to our centre.
“We really hope these telephone appointments for re-homing will make the centre more accessible for everyone and help animals like D'Artagnan find their forever home.
“D'Artagnan has been in our care for 364 days. When he arrived he was a nervous, poorly handled and under socialised rabbit. He can be a little bit over protective of his own space and will have a little grumble to let you know when he is not a happy bunny. We think that being in an environment surrounded by other rabbits has not helped this, and although you can pick him up and hold him, he has been known to occasionally nip when he has had enough.
“We’re looking for an experienced owner with experience of handling and bonding bunnies in the hope that D’Artagnan can eventually go on to live with some rabbit companions.
“D’Artagnan has got so much potential to be a rewarding companion for the right owner. We’re hoping now that we’re opening up the centre a bit more and travel restrictions have eased we can find the right person for him.”
All nine of the Scottish SPCA’s animal rescue and rehoming centres will be open for appointments from 1pm until 3.30pm, Friday to Monday from 17 May. Anyone wishing to donate items can drop these off at the designated donation point at any time without an appointment.
If anyone wishes to rehome an animal the Scottish SPCA asks that they do not attend the centre without an appointment. Appointments can be made by calling the centre directly on 03000 999 999, option two.
Alternatively, all available animals can be viewed and applied for online at: https://www.scottishspca.org/rehome/rehome.
The Scottish SPCA is Scotland’s animal welfare charity.
· The Scottish SPCA is separate from the RSPCA, who work in England and Wales.
· The Scottish SPCA is the only animal charity in the UK able to report animal cruelty cases to the Crown, with reports sent to the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service.
· The Scottish SPCA receives no government funding.