South Mainland wildlife rescue centre to close

She has provided animal welfare from a portable cabin in Dunrossness for almost two years, but Jean Garriock has been forced to call it a day at the Soothend Wildlife Rescue Centre.

The animal lover says she is unable to continue running the welfare centre because of a dramatic shortfall in funding needed to keep it in operation.

Jean Garriock with a lamb she has cared for at the centre.
Jean Garriock with a lamb she has cared for at the centre.

The centre at Wiltrow was first set up in June 2014 after the SSPCA controversially closed its Tingwall centre.

But she hopes to assist the Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary, and the now resurgent SSPCA service operated in Burra by isles inspector Louise Sales.

Closing the Soothend centre comes as a sad end for Ms Garriock’s work. She has invested in a portable cabin to help care for the wildlife service, which she operates by herself with the backing of a board of trustees. She carried out a veterinary support assistant diploma just after setting up.

“There’s no funding available. We’ve applied for funding from various different sources,” she said. “We’ve tried various different bodies that provide grants. But we’ve never been able to secure money for funding.”

She said the organisation had been fundraising itself, but had fallen victim to the wide number of events aimed at raising cash.

“When it starts coming out of your own pocket it becomes unfeasible to work with it.”

During her time in operation, Ms Garriock has looked after a host of different creatures, including three birds of prey – a merlin and a couple of kestrels. She has also cared for a large number of hedgehogs.

“Hedgehogs would need quite a bit of care. Anything that I couldn’t manage I would call the vet. But I would still like to take things in. I still have two hedgehogs that are due for release in the spring.”


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.