Coronavirus: RSPCA to provide emergency service only during lockdown

Date published: 25 March 2020

The RSPCA is providing an emergency-only service to animals through the coronavirus crisis in the wake of Government advice. 

The animal charity which has a team of frontline officers, 17 animals centres, four wildlife centres and four animal hospitals across England and Wales, has reassured animal lovers they will still be dealing with emergency cases.

Chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “Despite most of the country staying at home there are still animals which need our help and I’m so incredibly thankful for frontline officers helping animals in emergency situations, our hospital workers for providing emergency treatment and our centre staff and volunteers who are giving love and affection to the hundreds of animals in our care.

“We’ve taken steps to make sure that we are dealing with emergency cases only so we can play our part in stopping the spread of this virus and safeguard our staff and volunteers.

“We rely on the public’s help and we would ask them to only call our helpline in an emergency and visit our website for all other enquiries.”

The RSPCA has a team of frontline officers working around the clock across England and Wales to deal with emergency-only cases.

Their officers are wearing protective clothing, 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. 

Each year the RSPCA answers more than a million calls from the public concerned about animals.

They're asking that you only call in the event of an emergency and to be patient as despite contingency planning they have fewer people available to answer calls.

The RSPCA’s 17 nationally run animal centres are now closed to the public and they have paused rehoming and fostering and will resume as soon as it is safe.

Staff and volunteers will be focusing on giving love and attention to the hundreds of animals in their care.

Their four hospital teams in Manchester, Birmingham and London are still working to help emergency cases of sick and injured animals, prioritising animals rescued by frontline staff, but also providing services to clients on an appointment-only basis. 

If you find a sick or injured wild animal contact the emergency line - 0300 1234 999.

If you’ve found a baby animal which appears to be orphaned there is also advice on their website.

Centres and shops have closed to the public. 

To help the RSPCA continue helping animals in emergency need of care you can donate on their website, by mobile, or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181.

Many owners are concerned about caring for their pets amid the Coronavirus - or Covid-19 - outbreak.

There’s lots of advice and help on their website.

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