RSPCA deals with 21,000 animal cruelty cases since lockdown began

RSPCA has dealt with more than 21,000 animal cruelty cases since coronavirus lockdown began as charity appeals for more help

  • Some 21,137 suffering animals have been rescued by RSPCA during lockdown 
  • British charity’s call centres have been inundated by 66,000 calls in three weeks
  • Launched an emergency appeal to call for donations as the pandemic continues 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The RSPCA has helped 21,137 suffering animals since lockdown began five weeks ago – an average of one every two minutes.

The British animal charity has faced issues raging from abandoned kittens and stranded ducklings to rabbits found amongst fly-tipped waste and a pheasant left trapped in the grille of a car for two weeks. 

The charity’s call centres have been inundated with 66,000 calls, while inspectors have collected 1,274 animals and continue to take in the stranded pets of coronavirus victims brought into hospital. 

Teams across the country have helped an average of 660 animals every day since lockdown began on March 23. 

The RSPCA’s call centres have been inundated with 66,000 calls, while inspectors collected 1,274 animals. Pictured, five-week-old Inky was the first of the kitten season admitted to Stapeley Grange in Cheshire

Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer, said: ‘There are still thousands of animals which need our help. 

‘As designated key workers, our front-line rescuers are still out and about rescuing animals in urgent need of care. 

‘The Coronavirus crisis hasn’t put a stop to animal suffering.’

Teams across the country have helped an average of 660 animals every day since lockdown began on March 23. Pictured, Blackberry is a farm dog from Buckinghamshire

A paddling of ten ducklings (pictured), only around a week old, were found huddled together in a housing estate by Laura Barber, an RSPCA inspector in East Yorkshire


A fox (left) in West Yorkshire had to be detangled after getting itself caught up in a mass of netting, while Harvey the dog was rescued from a back yard (right)

Inspector Anthony Joynes is pictured cuddling a cat while dressed in his RSPCA uniform in Merseyside

These fox cubs stay close together for warmth after they were found abandoned in Derbyshire

But with funds running low the RSPCA has launched an emergency appeal to ask for ’emergency funding’ to ‘keep our rescue teams out on the road during the coronavirus crises’, according to Mr Murphy.

He added: ‘Our resources are under huge strain and vital funding is needed to keep our rescue teams out on the road.

‘We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be here for animals who are suffering and so we’re appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.’

In Hertfordshire this fox had to be rescued from the bottom of a well after it fell into the void 

A pair of badger cubs were rescued in Derbyshire. They’re pictured together in a cardboard box as they were brought to safety

In Greater Manchester a cat needed some extra help after it found itself stuck in a tree

This swan had to be rescued using specialist equipment in South Yorkshire. It appears to have suffered a wound to the neck

It comes a week after a dead pet cat left skewered and burned on top of a disposable barbecue down an alleyway prompted an RSPCA hunt for the sick ghouls who tortured it.

An investigation into the cat’s death began following the grim discovery opposite a row of shops in Wheatley in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, last Thursday morning.

The female cat had been a family pet and was microchipped, but the RSPCA were unable to track down its owner.

The rescue charity spoke to the person it was registered to but they revealed the cat and its kittens were rehomed two years ago.

An adorable fox cub prompted a call to the animal charity when it got caught in netting in the west midlands

A black and white cat had to be rescued in Staffordshire after getting her paw stuck in a trap

These tiny bunnies were found crowded together in North Yorkshire by a member of the public

RSPCA Inspector Tamsin Drysdale said: ‘The person who found the cat said she had a skewer through her body and was laying on the top of a disposable barbecue.  

‘She was so badly burned it isn’t possible to be sure what colour her fur was.’  

Ms Drysdale revealed it was unknown whether the cat had been burnt while still alive but she ‘very much hopes’ it was dead.

‘We don’t know whether this happened while the cat was alive or dead, but I suspect, and very much hope, it was the latter,’ she added. 

And police are investigating after a nesting swan was shot in the face with an air rifle – one of five shocking attacks in recent days.

An investigation is underway following the grim discovery of a dead cat (pictured) opposite a row of shops in Wheatley in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, last Thursday morning

The Queen’s Swan Marker, who works closely with swan rescue organisations, has described the incident as ‘mindless cruelty’ after being notified.

The bird was targeted in Thatcham, Berkshire, last week while tending to her unhatched eggs.

An animal charity covering the surrounding area said the attack is the fifth of its kind in the past 10 days – leaving four swans injured and one dead.

The eggs were taken to a support centre and the mother is expected to make a full recovery.

Police are investigating after a nesting swan was shot in the head with an air rifle in Thatcham, Berkshire, last week

Wendy Hermon, of Swan Support, said: ‘She was sat on a nest and they shot her in the head. We got a call to say she had blood all over its head.

‘We went to pick her up and she had an operation on Thursday to remove an 8mm ball fired from an air weapon.

‘She’s very subdued but she’s okay and will hopefully make a full recovery. 

‘I think it’s sick, sick people who have nothing else better to do. How can someone shoot a defenceless swan sat on a nest?’

An x-ray shows a pellet inside the swan’s head after the act of ‘mindless cruelty’

The attack was the fifth of its kind in the last 10 days, with four swans injured and one dead

The Queen has the right to own any unmarked swan in open waters, although this right is usually only exercised on certain stretches of the Thames.

David Barber, the Queen’s Swan Marker, said: ‘I am shocked and disgusted to learn of the shooting of a female swan who was sitting on a nest of four eggs.

‘At the present time the swan is still alive but this is a life threatening injury and we do not know whether she will survive.

‘This type of mindless cruelty is totally unacceptable and unnecessary and I sincerely hope the perpetrator of this abhorrent act will be pursued and punished accordingly.

‘I hope that anyone with knowledge or information about this crime will report it to Thames Valley Police.’  

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