The RSPCA has reassured animal lovers that it is continuing to rescue and rehome animals despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The animal charity which has a team of frontline officers, 17 animal centres, four wildlife and four animal hospitals across England and Wales, has put contingency plans in place to cope with the weeks and months ahead.
Chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said: “Thanks to our amazing, dedicated and professional team of staff and volunteers, the RSPCA is still rescuing and rehoming animals in these difficult times.
“We are having to change the way we work, but please be assured we are doing everything we can to make sure that we get help to the animals most in need. There is a great deal of anxiety, worry and concern at the moment. Being around animals can bring great pleasure, companionship and mental health benefits, so we hope people will draw comfort from spending time with their pets and watching wildlife to help them through the weeks and months ahead.”
The RSPCA has frontline officers working around the clock to help animals. Our officers are regularly handwashing before and after handling animals, avoiding entering premises and asking people to bring animals to the door where appropriate and keeping their vans clean. They are sanitising their hands whenever they leave their vehicles.
24-hour rescue line
Each year the RSPCA answers more than a million calls from the public concerned about animals. We would encourage those looking for advice to take a look on our website before calling as there is lots of information on there. Those calling with emergencies please be patient, as despite contingency planning, we may have fewer people available to answer calls.
The RSPCA’s 17 nationally run animal centres are still rehoming animals. Our centres are restricting public access, but anyone looking to rehome an animal can look at the RSPCA website for pets which need adopting and make an appointment to visit if they see one they like.
Extra hygiene measures are in place to protect staff and visitors, but we could as anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 not to visit.
Our hospital teams are still working to help sick and injured animals. Staff with be dealing with emergencies only and on an appointment basis. Extra hygiene measures are in place to protect staff and visitors, but we ask anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 not to visit. If you are unwell and you have an appointment, please ask someone else to bring your pet. There are restrictions on the numbers of people who can attend with each animal so please check with the hospital before attending.
Our wildlife centre teams are still working around the clock to help rehabilitate and release sick and injured wild animals. Our centres are not open to the public for visits. If you find a sick or injured wild animals, please contact our emergency line – 0300 1234 999 for advice on what to do. If you’ve found a baby animal which appears to be orphaned there’s also advice on the website.
Branches, centres and charity shops
There are some 160 RSPCA branches, registered charities in their own right, which are part of the RSPCA family running vital clinics, rehoming centres and charity shops. A majority of this incredible work is carried out by volunteers, so there may be charges to local services. Most are still operating as normal at the moment but please check their websites, social media channels or call before you visit.
Chris added: “I’m really proud to work alongside such a dedicated team of animal lovers and I’m constantly inspired by their drive to help animals, even in the toughest of times. I would ask for people to bear with us over the coming weeks. It’s great to see communities rallying around to support each other during this time and it would be good to see that community spirit extend to local RSPCA animal centres branches and hospitals.”
For many owners who are concerned about caring for their pets amid the Coronavirus – or Covid-19- outbreak can find lots of advice on the RSPCA website.