RSPCA rescuers continue to help animals in need throughout England and Wales’ Christmas lockdowns
RSPCA animal rescuers will continue to respond to emergencies and cruelty calls during the Christmas period as millions of people and their animals are plunged into lockdown.
The charity’s officers are out on the frontline 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. Despite the pandemic, this year will be no exception, with frontline teams caring for animals at its centres and hospitals across England and Wales.
Up until Sunday (December 20), the RSPCA had received more than 35,000 calls to and a staggering 806,653 since the start of the coronavirus crisis. And rescuers have dealt with 12,520 incidents during this December period across England and Wales, 680 relating to abandonment incidents.
Also since the start of the pandemic – up to the end of November – more than 18,000 animals were taken into RSPCA care, with the charity bracing itself for a potential rise in abandoned or neglected animals over the Christmas period due to the financial strain of the crisis.
Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “Christmas is looking very different this year but we want to reassure people we are still out there on the road responding to animal emergencies while ensuring the highest standards of public safety. You never quite know what to expect on Christmas Day but with the many lockdown restrictions in place we may see more calls from those who are out and about walking or exercising near their homes.
“We are also bracing ourselves for a rise in abandoned and neglected animals needing our help and would urge anyone who is struggling to seek help.”
The new lockdown restrictions imposed across England mean that RSPCA animal centres in tier four areas have had to close to the public with no appointments – although rehoming and fostering will be undertaken remotely (but to only those in the same tier four area).
In Wales, RSPCA animal centres have had to close to the public due to the ‘alert level four’ restrictions, with no appointments permitted, but remote rehoming can still be undertaken within Wales through a virtual process; with pets delivered to new owners in a covid-compliant manner by RSPCA staff.