It is not an easy place to visit. Walking past the kennels at the Glasgow Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre is enough to bring a tear to the glassiest eye.

For dozens of unwanted and discarded dogs, the very sniff of a potential new owner sends them into a barking frenzy. One by one, they clamour against their caged doors for attention.

A more clever ploy by some sees them pressing their sad eyes against the metal with a look that pleads: "Pick me."

In a single year, between 2000 and 2500 dogs will pass through the centre at Cardonald. Some will be rehoused, but some will have to be put down on medical grounds.

The centre, run by the SSPCA, has 100 kennels almost full to capacity with homeless dogs. For the kennel staff who look after them and, in their own words, "grow attached to them", the ultimate aim is to make sure each animal is looked after and cared for.

Many of their dogs come via the council wardens who deliver strays as part of a contract which has worked for 12 years, but will end next year as the SSPCA responds to financial pressures.

It is not just the council deliveries. According to employees at the kennels, it is not uncommon to find dogs abandoned outside the centre, in some cases tied up outside the entrance or left in boxes next to the door.

The period after Christmas is especially busy, as scores of dogs are left to fend for themselves when their owners realise that the perfect Christmas gift has more needs than they anticipated, and staff are bracing themselves for an avalanche of unwanted animals in January.

Many of the dogs that come into the kennels have been abused or abandoned and are in poor condition and often need medical treatment before they can go to their new homes.

In other cases, the animals' owners have passed away or simply cannot cope with the cost of owning a dog, particularly if it falls into bad health.

Would-be owners are asked to fill in a questionnaire when they visit the kennels, which helps the centre ensure the dog is going to a well-matched home.

After that, the next stage in the adoption process is a home visit, which hopefully leads to a permanent home for a needy dog.

The costs incurred when an animal arrives at the centre range between £160 and £210 and all dogs are given a full veterinary check on arrival.

The charity ensures all dogs receive vaccinations, which cost £15, worming treatment (£5), micro-chipping (£15), spaying for females (£150), and neutering for males (£100).

As an animal charity, the SSPCA receives no government or lottery funding and relies on public donations to pay for the care of the dogs. Those wishing to buy a dog from the charity can expect to pay between £60 and £100, depending on the individual animal.

The recent influx of dogs has meant the centre is under increasing pressure to look after more and more strays.

The SSPCA was founded in Edinburgh in 1839 and one of its first aims was to improve the welfare of cart-horses. The charity grew and merged with other groups, such as in Dundee, Glasgow and the west of Scotland and Aberdeen.

Currently, the charity looks after dogs at 10 welfare centres across Scotland, treating over 15,000 animals a year, with the largest in Lanarkshire and at Cardonald.

It is entirely separate from the RSPCA, which operates in England and Wales only.

SSPCA inspectors save thousands of domestic, farm and wild animals from harm and danger every year, while vets and staff in their wildlife and animal rescue and rehoming centres look after, rehabilitate, and rehome thousands more.

The also runs an animal welfare education programme and campaigns for improved animal welfare standards.

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