LOCAL residents are being encouraged to get their knitting needles out this Christmas and take part in a Dumbarton animal shelter’s winter appeal.

The Scottish SPCA is looking for blankets to keep the pets in its care warm and cosy as the weather gets colder.

The charity said a warm blanket can make a big difference for the animals.

Donations of new blankets from shops or used clean ones in good condition with no tears or holes will also be accepted.

Jennie Macdonald, head of fostering, rehoming, and community engagement said: “We are in need of blankets to keep animals in our care warm and cosy while they wait for their forever homes.

“We would love if people who have a passion for knitting or crocheting could spare some time and wool to make some for our animals. 

“The only criteria we have is for them to be tightly woven without large holes. We can also accept new blankets from retailers or used blankets as long as they are in good condition with no tears or holes and have been freshly laundered.

“Unfortunately, we can’t accept pillows or duvets as they are too easily destroyed and the stuffing can be harmful to animals if they ingest it.

“Your support means that we can continue to provide the best care for our animals at our centre this winter.

“We’d be so grateful for any donations that people can spare and we know our animals will be too.”

Donations can be dropped off at the SSPCA’s centres including its Dunbartonshire and West of Scotland base in the town.