The animal welfare charities Blue Cross and the Scottish SPCA have formed a partnership designed to enable them to share best practice and reach more people.
The organisations said they had launched a joint research study with the University of Edinburgh to identify ways to contact people living with pets in hard-to-reach, minority or vulnerable communities.
They also hope to share best practice, specialist expertise and their services to best help pets and people.
Blue Cross has about 750 staff and 11 rehoming centres across the UK, while the SSPCA has 385 employees, nine animal rescue centres and one national wildlife rescue centre.
Blue Cross plans to build on the partnership to open its first centre in Scotland.
In November, Blue Cross announced a partnership with the RSPCA, which covers England and Wales, that the organisations hoped would bring money-saving benefits in areas such as shared purchasing and the transport of animals.
The arrangement between Blue Cross and the SSPCA does not go as far as that, but it is understood that if cost-saving opportunities arose the organisations would consider them.
As with the partnership with the RSPCA, the tie-up with the SSPCA is not expected to be a precursor to a merger.
A statement from Blue Cross and the SSPCA said: “With the impact of Covid-19 stretching resources and finances further, both charities believe they can achieve more by pooling knowledge.
“In reviewing the areas where the charities provide help to pets and people, the Scottish SPCA and Blue Cross will be able to see where they can complement each other to extend reach to those in need.”
Chris Burghes, chief executive of Blue Cross, said: “Blue Cross firmly believes that partnerships are the future of charity working to ensure we can truly deliver on our aims to help the increasing numbers of pets and people in need who seek our help.
“By collaborating and combining services we can reach many more people in crisis who, through no fault of their own, need support in ensuring their companions are healthy and happy.”
Kirsteen Campbell, chief executive of the SSPCA, said: “We believe it has never been more important for charities to work in partnership, achieving even more together and having an even greater impact on animal welfare.
“There’s so much shared DNA between Blue Cross and the Scottish SPCA and we have a fantastic opportunity here to make best use of our collective expertise, be ambitious and make a difference to the lives of people and their pets across Scotland.”