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Virtual tour to offer SSPCA insight


By Alan Beresford

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THE Scottish SPCA is going to be taking animal lovers on an exclusive behind-the-scenes virtual tour.

Sharon Comrie with Mac the cat and Bella the dog. Picture: SSPCA
Sharon Comrie with Mac the cat and Bella the dog. Picture: SSPCA

Scotland’s animal welfare charity’s long-serving member of staff, Sharon Comrie, will treat guests to some of her incredible stories from her 47 years with the society and speaking to a number of colleagues across various departments.

Sharon has held a number of different roles in her time at the society. She started as a volunteer and most recently stepped down from animal rescue and rehoming centre superintendent to take up the position of head of partnership relations.

She said: “I’m over the moon to be able to host these tours and show people what life is like working with animals at the Scottish SPCA.

“I’ll be joined by special guests, including amazing colleagues from across our society who carry out life-saving work in our vet department and who help us deliver our internationally-recognised education programme.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my stories that show the breadth of the work we do and just how incredible animals are.

“One of my favourite stories is from 1995 involving a special wee dog I named Paddy.

“He was a black and white lurcher dog that came in to our centre in Dundee at only seven or eight weeks old. He was an absolute sweetheart but he was very unwell with parvovirus.

“Paddy needed a lot of veterinary attention. There were many times we didn’t think he was going to make it. We actually lost him briefly but managed to revive him.

“As Paddy was so ill, and I didn’t want to take him home and put my own dogs at risk, I stayed the night in the kennels with Paddy for two or three nights. I just couldn’t leave the poor wee boy on his own.

“Thankfully, he started to improve. He was the most beautiful dog with big floppy paws and it was hard not to fall in love with him.

“Around eight weeks later, a gentleman and his family came in and did just that. They took him home shortly after.

“Even though I was sad to see him go, I was so happy he was going to a lovely house near a beach and he would have a wonderful future.

“About six or seven years later, I was outside the local shop when I heard this almighty noise; howling, squealing, and scraping.

“I looked over at a car that had its window down and this black and white dog was trying to force its way out the window. The next thing I knew, it jumped out of the window, ran to me and leapt into my arms.

“It was Paddy! He had remembered me after all those years. The owner and I were standing together in tears at this beautiful moment.

“It was so touching. I almost burst when I think about it. I will remember that moment for as long as I live.

“And that is what this job is all about. Making the lives of animals better. And I cannot wait to tell people all about it!”

The Scottish SPCA’s virtual tour will be taking place via Zoom on Tuesday, May 26 from 6.30-7.30pm and on Thursday, May 28 from 5.30-6.30pm. There will also be a fun-mini quiz to test people’s knowledge on animals. Register your place for free by visiting www.scottishspca.org/tour.

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