RSPCA launches emergency appeal to keep rescuers on frontline amid coronavirus outbreak

THE RSPCA has launched an emergency fundraiser to keep rescuers on the frontline amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The charity is appealing for donations as it continues to rescue and care for animals during the pandemic. It has received 60,000 calls reporting cruelty in the last month as the UK has been put on lockdown.

Chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: “This is a time of national crisis, and many of us are anxious about the future and our loved ones.“This crisis has touched all areas of life and the RSPCA is no different.

“As we all face the biggest challenge of a generation, the RSPCA must continue to be on the frontline, rescuing and caring for the animals who need us most.

“Our rescuers, vets and nurses have been designated key workers by the Government which means we can carry on saving animals from cruelty and neglect but we rely entirely on generous public donations to fund our vital services.

RSPCA coronavirus emergency appeal

The RSPCA has launched an emergency appeal amid the coronavirus outbreak (Image: RSPCA)

RSPCA coronavirus emergency appeal

The charity is appealing for donations as it continues to rescue and care for animals during the pandemic (Image: RSPCA)

“We are facing immense challenges and huge pressures on strained resources, but our hugely dedicated teams are out there dealing with emergencies and our centres continue to deliver vital care to thousands of animals, with more expected in the coming weeks.

“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be here for animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

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RSPCA centres have closed to the public but staff are continuing to look after thousands of animals in their care.

READ MORE: Pets at Home CEO pledges to help 'feed the nation's pets'

RSPCA coronavirus emergency appeal

RSPCA centres have closed to the public but staff are continuing to look after thousands of animals in their care (Image: RSPCA)

And rescue teams are expected to bring in more neglected and abused animals in the coming weeks and months.

The charity received 60,000 calls in March amid the coronavirus lockdown.

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RSPCA coronavirus emergency appeal

Rescue teams are expected to bring in more neglected and abused animals in the coming weeks and months (Image: RSPCA)

RSPCA coronavirus emergency appeal

Comedian and animal lover Ricky Gervais has backed the RSPCA’s coronavirus fundraising appeal (Image: RSPCA)RSPCA rescuers also saved a young horse stuck in freezing water in Gravesend, Kent.And a pregnant cat was pulled from underneath an industrial fridge outside a pub in Boston, Lincolnshire.Comedian and animal lover Ricky Gervais has backed the RSPCA’s coronavirus fundraising appeal.

He said: “It is really important for us all to pull together to help each other at this difficult time and someone needs to be there for animals too.

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“I would urge people to give whatever they can spare at this really difficult time to support the RSPCA so they can stay out on the frontline rescuing the animals who need them most.

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“They are facing huge challenges through this crisis, but their amazing staff are committed to being there for animals in danger in any way they can and they can only do it with your help.”

The RSPCA is currently looking after 3,288 animals including more than 880 dogs, 870 cats, 840 horses and 200 rabbits.

It comes as there have been 29,474 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UK, with the death toll at 2,352.