The Scottish SPCA has revealed that heir frontline staff responded to over 4,600 incidents last year in Ayrshire.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity also reported that they cared for over 300 animals at their Ayrshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “While Scotland is a nation of animal lovers, unfortunately there are some who still abuse and neglect animals.”

The charity has hailed its ground-breaking education programme as the way forward.

Flynn continued: “We firmly believe that education is the key to preventing cruelty and we are encouraged by the continued success of our Prevention through Education programme for primary schools, which reached over 21,720 children in the Ayrshire area.

“Our inspectors and animal rescue officers also go above and beyond in communities throughout the country, working with members of the public, giving advice, providing support and offering assistance where possible.”

Ayrshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre Manager Marion Hainey said: “Last year we found wonderful new homes for over 200 animals from our centre here in Ayrshire, but there’s always more we can do to raise awareness of the number of rescue animals in our care.

“Many of the animals were rescued from lives of abuse or neglect and some were even discarded like rubbish when their owners decided they no longer wanted to look after them.”