RSPCA officers play their part helping animals and owners in Covid pandemic

The RSPCA’s inspectors have been playing their part during the Coronavirus pandemic by ensuring pets of sick owners get the care they need.

The animal welfare charity is continuing to care for animals who need them the most and helping pet owners during these difficult times.

The officers are now responding to emergencies only, but they are also helping their local communities where they can in delivering pet food and medicines, taking animals for emergency vet treatment and transporting pets for care if their owner has gone into hospital or sadly died.

Dermot Murphey, Chief Inspectorate Officer at the RSPCA, said: “These are unprecedented times, but we want to make sure that animal welfare is maintained so our officers remain on the frontline helping animals and pet owners who need us the most.

“As well as dealing with emergencies, many of our officers are going the extra mile and helping pets and their owners affected by Covid-19. For those who need to self isolate, taking their pet to the vet for urgent treatment has become impossible and for those who have been taken into hospital with the virus, there is a huge strain on local authorities to take the animals, which is why we are helping with transportation.

“We are still receiving many calls and the emergency calls must come first but our officers are helping those affected by the virus where they can.”

Misty was taken to the vets by AWO Steve Wickham for emergncy treatment.

The animal welfare charity was contacted for help after a pet owner in West Lancashire was taken to hospital last week with Coronavirus and neighbours had informed them that there were pets in the house.

No-one was allowed to enter the house for 72 hours because of the risk of contamination for the Coronavirus. But on Monday, dressed in full PPE clothing, Inspector Paul Heaton and Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) Dave Hatton were able to attend the scene and using a key from a neighbour to gain entry to the house, the pets were rescued.

Paul said: “We had the full PPE clothing on the face masks and shoe covers and we were able to carry out the safe rescue of these pets. I went in the house to rescue the pets and put them in my van to transfer to a kennel while Dave followed me in his van.

“As he had not come into contact with the house, he took the pets inside the kennels while I disinfected the van. All the procedures were in place to get these pets the help they needed.”

Two Yorkshire Terriers and a Cairn Terrier-cross as well as a budgie were taken from the property and were all in good health. They are now in the care of the RSPCA and will remain with the charity until the owner recovers from his illness.

Animal Welfare Officer Steve Wickham stepped in to help an owner and their dog Misty in Manchester after a womb infection left her close to death.

Misty was extremely weak and bleeding from her back end when a call came through to the RSPCA for help. Unfortunately, the family were in the middle of a 14-day isolation period and were unable to take the dog to the vet.

Steve said: “Poor Misty had a womb infection which had filled with pus and of it popped, it would have sadly killed her, so she needed urgent treatment. The owner tied Misty to a fence in the garden for me to collect her and take her to the vet where she underwent surgery to remove her womb.

“Spaying animals is incredibly important to stop infections like this occurring. Thankfully, the surgery was successful, and I was able to reunite Misty with her owner on Tuesday after spending a few days recovering at the vets.”

Dermot added: “These are just a few examples of how our officers are helping not just animals, but people during the Coronavirus pandemic. We couldn’t do any of this without the continued support of the general public through these tough times.”

Since the crisis deepened at the beginning of March, the RSPCA’s animal cruelty line has received more than 60,000 calls and its officers, animal care staff and vets continue to rescue and care for animals in need.