Fife's unsung heroes: Bob Ward

Bob is a senior animal rescue officer with the Scottish SPCA.
Bob Ward with tawny owl chicks.Bob Ward with tawny owl chicks.
Bob Ward with tawny owl chicks.

Fife has many unsung heroes who have gone the extra mile to help others during the coronavirus lockdown. They are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that our buses still run, our prescriptions dispensed, and our services all keep ticking over. They deserve their moment in the spotlight as part of our Big Thank You.

Bob Ward, senior animal rescue officer with the Scottish SPCA has been as busy as ever through the lockdown as the charity is experiencing a shortage of staff due to the coronavirus.

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He said: “I have been really busy as there are quite a few people who are off just now because they are isolating or shielding, none of the jobs that I go to are planned, they come in via email – it’s very unpredictable and no two days are the same.

“I cover Fife and Central Scotland, so I can travel quite a few miles in one day, I could be attending to a wildlife casualty in Saline in the morning and in the afternoon I could be dealing with a stray dog or cat in Anstruther.

“The range of different animals that I rescue is huge, from birds in boxes after a cat attack to snakes, lizards and venomous spiders that people have brought home in their luggage from their holidays!”

Bob, from Dunfermline, has been with the Scottish SPCA for 13 years loves his job and wouldn’t change it for the world.

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He said: “It is massively rewarding, I’ve reunited people with their pets that have been missing for years, and released wild animals back into the wild after rehabilitating them, it’s great to know that what we do to help these animals really works.

“Not much has changed for me at work with the coronavirus, we have all the proper PPE with dealing with wild animals anyway, the only difference is that now we have been issued masks and have to be aware of social-distancing when we go into people's houses.

“It has been tough as my workload is a lot but you just have to get on with it.

“As far as the virus is concerned I’m pretty chilled about as I know how to keep myself safe, I just wish that people would screw the head and listen to the advice about social-distancing more.

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“People can be very selfish and it’s showing, we have pulled together in some shape or form but some people can’t even go to funerals of loved ones while their neighbours two doors down are having a party – it’s out of order.”

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