Animal care assistant Emma Russell with Sally the boa

The Scottish SPCA’s animal rescue and rehoming centre in Edinburgh has 179 animals in their care this Christmas Day.

It was business as usual for the dedicated staff at the charity’s centre in Balerno, which is open to the public 365 days a year.

Centre manager Diane Stewart said, “It’s a heartbreaking reality that there are lots of pets without loving homes to call their own this Christmas time.

“However, thanks to our dedicated staff, no animal in our care spent Christmas Day alone and we even made sure they all got a little treat from Santa.

“The animals here are relying on us as they don’t have anywhere else to go, so it’s simply not an option for us to close over the holidays.

“We’ll be here for them throughout Christmas and New Year, ensuring they’re fed, watered and exercised every day as usual.

“Our inspectors and animal rescue officers will continue to rescue abandoned, neglected and injured animals over the festive period so we also need to be on-hand to take in any new arrivals and offer them a place of safety.

“We aren’t rehoming young animals such as puppies and kittens until 3 January to prevent them being taken on by someone who just wants a new pet for Christmas.

“However, those genuinely wishing to offer a young animal a permanent home can come along to meet them and they can be reserved.

“There are also lots of older pets in our care who are ready and waiting to find their forever homes right now.

“Locals are always welcome to pop in to our centre, whether it’s to meet an animal they’re interested in rehoming, donate food or toys for our homeless pets, or simply just to say hello.”

The Scottish SPCA’s animal rescue and rehoming centre is open from 10am-4pm seven days a week.