A RENFREW man has dedicated his life to caring for animals without homes since he was aged 14. 

Senior animal care assistant Alan Grant is just one of many devoted staff members at the Scottish SPCA's Glasgow animal rescue and rehoming centre.

The 48-year-old first started volunteering there when he was a schoolboy (when it was formerly the Cardonald Dog and Cat Home).

“My grandpa used to bring me from Renfrew on the back of his motorbike when I was 14”, he said.

The Gazette: Alan has been involved in the society for a total of 34 years after he began volunteering in 1989 before becoming a full-time member of staff in 1992.

He said: “I started volunteering because at the time my parents were out working and wouldn't allow us to have a dog in the house and the only way I could get contact with dogs was to do something voluntarily.

“I applied to be a volunteer with the dog and cat home during my Easter holidays at school and I managed to get the placement for two weeks and then started coming in at the weekends and it progressed from there.”

And just six months into his job, Alan provided Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross Tigger a loving home after he had been returned four times previously – but only after he managed to convince his parents.

Animals finding new homes is Alan's favourite part of his job.

“We are here to care for these dogs and cats and to bring them back to health," he said.

"But our main purpose is to get these animals into new homes. You can get attached but you can't get over attached because our purpose is to get them out of this environment and into a proper home.

The Gazette: “It’s the best bit about the job. It's bittersweet. You're sad because they're leaving, but on the other hand, you're happy because they're not going to be in a kennel tonight. And they're going to have their own new family.

“A lot of our customers are really good; they keep in touch with us and send in pictures and let us know they’ve settled in, and we love that.”

Alan also praised the team of staff and volunteers at the centre and across the society – who work 365 days a year – including Christmas Day and New Year.

“They are awesome”, he said. “It's the love of animals that gets everybody into this kind of role. But there has to be a balance because you've got to be able to come and function and be able to do the job, which is difficult.

“We see a lot of horrific things.”

Last year, on Christmas Day, the SSPCA seized 24 puppies from homes and took them to one of their centres to receive medical attention.

An investigation was launched.

Alan added: “It never stops. We need to be here for the animals. If it’s a case of animals need removing on Christmas Day, then they'll be removed on Christmas Day if it's in their best interest.”

This year, dozens of adorable animals at the centre in Cardonald will sadly be spending Christmas without a forever home.

Dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and more are all temporarily living there due to a number of various reasons, including welfare concerns or being found as a stray.

One of these is Roxy, a female German shepherd breed, aged one to two.

The “cheeky girl”, who is described as “loving and affectionate”, has spent more than 260 days in the care of the SSCPA.

The Gazette: The Gazette: Porsha is another female dog at the centre in the city’s Southside – who sadly arrived more than a year ago.

The border collie is aged nine to 10 and loves to go for walks and play all day despite her age.

The Gazette: The Gazette: Meanwhile, Rose the cat has spent more than 300 days in the charity’s care.

She is aged between five and nine and is looking for a quiet home to settle into.

The Gazette: Scruffy the guinea pig, whose age is unknown, has spent more than 140 days at the centre.

She is described as an “absolute sweetheart”.

The Gazette: The Gazette: Memphis the ferret is looking for his forever home after spending nearly 200 days with the charity.

He is able to live alongside other ferrets and is looking for someone who can provide him with enough exercise and plenty of games.

The Gazette: To apply to rehome any of the above animals, click here.