RSPCA animal rescuers busy over festive period

Over the festive period calls to the RSPCA were up by a third with 15,723 calls received.

While many families enjoyed roast dinners board games and festive films this Christmas period, RSPCA officers were out helping animals in need.

The animal welfare charity operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and this Christmas was no different.

Over the festive period, the RSPCA’s officers and inspectors responded to 15,723 calls and helped 759 animals. Last year, the charity received 11,530 calls between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day – 36% less than this year.

The RSPCA have shared some of the many call outs that they attended to over the festive period, including a deer, seals and abandoned chinchillas.

Inspector Emily Astilberry and animal collection officer (ACO) Paige Burnham had a tricky rescue on Christmas Day after being called to help a male fallow deer whose antlers were tangled up in electric fencing.

The deer had snapped the fence in three places and had the fencing and a fence pole wrapped tightly around his neck and antlers and he was desperately trying to free himself but was just getting more tangled.

Emily and Paige called the vets for help and started to get some control over the deer by winding the fencing around the Secure posts at the edge. He was sedated so they could properly remove the fencing.

The rescue took five hours and left the girls exhausted. Inspector Astilberry, said: “We finished the rescue at 6pm and made our way back to our vehicles, tired and in need of a mince pie. It was hard, difficult, exhausting work but well worth every minute of our Christmas to see him free again at the end of all our efforts.”

Another rescue included two troubled seal pups who were rescued by RSPCA Cymru officers during the Christmas period.

The first seal pup, which was found underweight, exhausted and with an injury under the chin – was rescued from the beach between Anerthaw and Gileston on 22 December.

The second seal was rescued from the beach at Monkstone Point near Saundersfoot on Boxing Day. Both seals were separately taken to RSPCA Wildlife Centres to recover.

An RSPCA officer ended up with a furry friend over Christmas after being called out to recue four abandoned chinchillas in Sheffiend on Christmas Eve.

Inspector Kim Greaves was called to the sailing club at Dunford Bridge by a member of the public who found two chinchillas abandoned.

Inspector Greaves said: “Sadly only one of the chincillas was alive and she was terrified but I managed to catch her in my net. She was very cold and wet through. Chinchillas cant cope with the wet so I rushed her home over the festive break. She’s doing very well now and has perked up over the festive break.”

Three 11-week old puppies are being cared for by the RSPCA after being abandoned in the Forest of Dean. The dogs, two boys and a girl were discovered by a member of the public on 30 December in Stenders Court, Mitcheldean, after it is thought they were left at some point overnight.

RSPCA Inspector, Suzi Smith, who is investigating, said: “We are urging anyone who has any information about how these dogs came to be abandoned to please contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.

“We’re hoping somebody will recognise these puppies and help us to find out how they came to be abandoned.”