Calls to a Scottish animal charity to give up unwanted animals have more than doubled after a boost in adoptions at the start of the pandemic. 

The Scottish SPCA has revealed the number of call to their helpline increased by 134% between September 1, 2020 and January 5 of this year. 

A total of 476 people called the charity looking to give up their animal, compared to just 205 calls in the same period in 2019/20.

Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “It is heart-breaking to see a healthy animal which loves their family given up because the owners have lost interest or not considered how their circumstances may change. We would urge people to consider a reputable behaviourist or training before they give up their pet."

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 Calls about unwanted dogs increased by 103% from 105 to 213. Calls from people looking to give up cats jumped 151% from 61 to 153.

But the charity predicted the spike in giving up animals. 

Mr Flynn added: "We predicted an increase in unwanted animals last year after an explosion in demand for pets among people at home due to the pandemic.

“Whilst not such a big issue for kittens, a generation of pups will have grown up in a household where the family is often around. Once that situation changes it can be hard for a dog to adjust and this can lead to behavioural issues and separation anxiety. These issues can lead to dogs being destructive and it is at this point many owners considering giving their pet up.

“What they don’t realise is that the dog is acting this way because of its own experiences not because of any ingrained issue.”

However, the abandonment of animals has not seen an increase. 

 “A rise in abandonments is something we’ve been worried about since last March," the charity boss added. 

"If anyone is no longer able or willing to look after their pet, they should contact us for advice and we will do what we can."

Anyone considering giving up their animal should contact 03000 999 999 in confidence.