Scottish SPCA issues warning about “bogus inspectors”

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Scottish SPCA

The Scottish SPCA (SSPCA) is warning pet owners to be vigilant and wary of “bogus inspectors attempting to remove animals from properties”. Dog thieves have also been reported impersonating RSPCA officers in England and Wales.

So far, the SSPCA was alerted to reports of people impersonating inspectors in Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Perthshire, the Highlands, and Lanarkshire.

Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said, “We are very concerned for the welfare of the animals who have been taken by people posing as the Scottish SPCA. Our thoughts are with the owners as this must be incredibly distressing for them.

“First and foremost we would urge anyone who has experienced this to get directly in touch with us. We will then notify Police Scotland who can investigate this fraudulent behaviour.”

Scottish SPCA van

The thieves are believed to be using black vans with white writing on them – almost identical to the vans used by genuine SSPCA officers, as seen above.

Flynn said, “If someone tells you they are from the RSPCA then please report them immediately as they do not operate at all in Scotland. Please be vigilant and keep yourselves and your pets safe.

“While we can legally seize an animal from a property we will only do so if the welfare of the animal is seriously compromised, needs vet treatment or the environment is not safe for the animal to be in. Only Police Scotland and the local authority have the same powers.”

If you are at all unsure about someone who comes to your door as the Scottish SPCA then ask them to wait outside and call us immediately

He added, “Our inspectors will always be in uniform and will be able to provide identification badges with a photo and authorisation. Our inspectors will also be happy to provide you with vehicle registration.

“If you are at all unsure about someone who comes to your door as the Scottish SPCA then ask them to wait outside and call us immediately. Our inspectors will respect your need to do this.

“If anyone can provide any more information on these incidents then please contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Images by SSPCA

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