The Scottish SPCA has announced a raft of measures to ensure the charity can continue to rescue animals in the face of coronavirus.

All nine animal rescue and rehoming centres, including the one in West Dunbartonshire, will be closed to the public unless they have a pre-arranged appointment.

Centres will also temporarily stop accepting used blankets or towels as donations and educational visits to schools and centres have been put on hold.

Kirsteen Campbell, chief executive, said: “As the coronavirus spreads, we have a duty of care to the public, our staff and the animals we help to ensure we can continue to do our job without putting anyone at risk.

“These precautionary measures are designed to make sure our dedicated animal welfare experts can still be in centres to look after animals and our committed inspectors and animal rescue officers can still be on-hand to rescue animals.

“We will still be there whenever people, pets and wildlife need us.

“We have been monitoring the spread of the virus for some time and have already taken steps to ensure all of our centres are well stocked in terms of specialised food and veterinary supplies.

“We are doing the right thing by cancelling school bookings, but we don’t want children to go without the opportunity to learn about animal welfare in the weeks ahead.

“We are in contact with head teachers across the country to help get materials related to animal welfare education to households.

“I would say to anyone who has concerns about the impact of coronavirus on how they can care for their pet – give our animal helpline a call.

“We will give you all the advice and support we can. As Scotland’s animal welfare charity, we are here to support pet owners and make sure they can maintain the strong bond with the animals in their lives during this difficult period.”

The Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline can be reached on 03000 999 999.