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23 Jul 2019
BY Alice Mitchell

A Day in the Life of the SSPCA

Alice Mitchell joins the Scottish SPCA at the coalface of what they do... and finds that it's a job that's as much about people as it is animals.

Here at The Lane we like to get stuck in to whatever we do. Whether it’s an exciting new brief from one of our client partners or a friendly lunchtime game of basketball, we don’t like to do things by halves. Having worked here in Client Services for three years now, this is something I know well. I look after a number of clients that span retail, legal, private healthcare and public sector – and as of earlier this year, I’ve been lucky enough to add the Scottish SPCA to that list. 

 

Naturally, when the Scottish SPCA got in touch to offer me some first hand experience in what their officers do every day, I jumped at the chance.

 

But first, a bit of context if you missed Ali’s latest blog on our recent pitch win with the Scottish SPCA. We’ve already worked on two big quarterly fundraising campaigns which consisted of (deep breath) national door drops, inserts, digital assets and a television advert. Not only that but we’re well under way with the next quarterly fundraising campaign which is of a similar size and scope. The centrepiece of this will be a TV ad with a very special guest (that we can’t say too much more about right now other than ‘watch this space’).

 

We’re delighted that our relationship with the Scottish SPCA is off to such a strong start, and learning more about what day-to-day looks like for them would only seek to strengthen that bond. As I say, getting ‘stuck in’ is part of the culture here. The reason for this is that it allows us to understand the reality our clients face. That way we can accurately and creatively translate what they do into their marketing materials. It’s not only useful in terms of helping us do our job, it’s vital to the success of what we create.

 

It was all go straight from the off. Our first job was to head down to the Borders where we attended a call-in. After a discussion with the owner, it was decided that due to a change in her circumstances, her rabbits were best placed to be handed over to the care of the Scottish SCPA. After checking the rabbits over, we carefully delivered them to the rehoming centre in Balerno.

 

While I was at the rehoming centre, I met the staff and some of the animals that were up for rehoming (including some of the home’s scalier residents, but thankfully for me they were snoozing away). Reptiles aside, the passion of those working there was one of the first things I noticed. It absolutely shines through. It’s immediately clear how passionate the staff are about caring for the animals at the centre. From that one call out it’s apparent that the people behind the animals are every bit as big a part of the job as the animals themselves. Cruelty to animals is so often a sign of a greater human crisis or issue that needs action; old age or mental illness for instance. 

 

To be totally honest, I think I got off easy. The call out we went to wasn’t traumatic, especially compared to some of the harrowing stories of animal abuse and neglect that I’ve heard second hand. The job that the officers do can be dangerous. They don’t know who’s behind the door they’re knocking on and what state of mind that person will be in.

 

It’s clear to me that to do this day in, day out you’d have to be a seriously driven, resilient individual. The need to look out for and improve on animal welfare in Scotland is definitely there, and I’m glad to play a small part in helping to raise awareness on this important issue.