RSPCA hospitals treat 5,495 animal emergencies during lockdown

The RSPCA has treated 5,495 emergency cases at its animal hospitals and clinics since lockdown started.

Staff at the RSPCA five animal hospitals and clinics have been providing emergency care to thousands of animals rescued by frontline officers during the crisis.

The charity has released the figures as part of its emergency appeal, launched to keep its frontline rescue teams working during the Coronavirus crisis.

Caroline Allen, Chief Vet at the RSPCA said: “Our hospitals teams have been working incredibly hard around the clock to help animals who need emergency care. They’ve had to change the way they work in order to keep themselves and the public safe, but they’ve done such an amazing job to make sure we can still be there for animals most in need throughout the crisis.”

Staff at the charity’s five hospitals and clinics have been designated key workers by the government but vital funding is needed to help the RSPCA’s frontline staff continue this crucial work across England and Wales.

The hospitals are not operating as normal and instead are focussing work on those animals most in need or urgent care, which have been rescued from cruelty, neglect and suffering by inspectors.

Since the country went into lockdown on 23 March, the RSPCA’s hospitals in Birmingham, London, Manchester and Merthyr Tydfil have had 2,505 visits from dogs, more than 2,300 from cats, 79 from rabbits and 540 other pets and wild animals.

The hospital team have carried out more than 1,100 procedures, including operations and nearly 1,400 animals’ patients have had to stay in for treatment.

Apple the kitten was found on 11 May in Broxbourne. She was shivering, covered in fleas and suffering and weeping eyes, thought to be caused by cat flu.

In a very sorry state, the kitten was rescued by inspector Nicole Smith and taken to RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital, where she was tucked up in the warm inside a specialist oxygen box to help her recover.

Nicknamed Apple by staff, she has now been taken home to be fostered by volunteer Molly Rogerson, where she will continue to be hand-reared and receive lots of love and fuss, until she can be found a forever home.

Caroline added: “This crisis time has been hard for our hospital teams who have been working in very difficult circumstances. They’ve had to move to an emergency-only service and put special procedures in place.

“This has been a really stressful time for our hospital workers – they have families, concerns and lives of their own to cope with during the crisis, so the work they’ve done is absolutely incredible during lockdown. I’m extremely grateful to them and also to the public who have been supporting them by clapping for them on Thursdays and sending them messages of support.”

Harmsworth kitten Apple with Molly