SCOTLAND'S animal charity has revealed that almost 600 callouts were attended in the Wee County in the first half of this year.

New data from the Scottish SPCA has shown that there were 2,740 animal welfare jobs attended in the Forth Valley area as a whole with a total of 36,299 across Scotland.

The number of incidents recorded in Clackmannanshire was 594, while in Stirling there was 782, and 1,364 in Falkirk.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish SPCA reports an 8 per cent drop in reports of animals in need nationwide compared to the first six months of 2019.

Lockdown forced the closure of all nine Scottish SPCA animal rescue and rehoming centres across Scotland, which meant animals were arriving at the centres without being rehomed.

To relieve the pressure on teams and resources, an emergency foster scheme saw 260 animals who were ready to be rehomed go out on foster. More than 70 were permanently rehomed by fosterers.

Kirsteen Campbell, Scottish SPCA chief executive, said: "Our whole team has worked so hard through this unprecedented crisis, and the passion and dedication they have displayed all the way through has been truly inspirational.

"Even during lockdown, we were still averaging a call about an animal in need every 90 seconds, which shows the scale of demand there was for our services."

As restrictions eased, the society introduced virtual rehoming to get animals into loving homes.

Despite the closure, the Scottish SPCA has rehomed 1,796 animals in the first six months of the year – down by 23 per cent from 2,339 in 2019.

The Society's National Wildlife Rescue Centre did not close its doors and continued to take in injured, sick or orphaned wild animals.

Admissions in the first half of this year are down 47 per cent from the same period in 2019. 3,377 animals arrived at the centre in Clackmannanshire compared to 5,139 in the previous year.

The centre has been especially busy since lockdown eased in May, with almost 1,000 animals on-site at a given time.

Ms Campbell added: "As Scotland's animal champions, we have a duty to continue to do our job under any circumstances to make sure pets, wildlife, farm animals and people get the help they need. Thank you so much to our partners and the public for such great support."