THE RSPCA is bracing itself for the toughest Christmas yet as the charity fears a rise in neglected and abandoned pets.
Animal welfare officers are concerned the financial strain from the coronavirus pandemic could mean even more call outs this year after 2019 saw its busiest Christmas in four years.
Last Christmas day, officers received more than 950 calls, the highest number since 2013.
Throughout December it received around 2,000 a day, and more than 7,000 animals were taken in by the RSPCA from December to February. This included 520 call-outs over the same period in Warwickshire.
And this year more than ever, the RSPCA is concerned more people may struggle to care for their pets, putting more pressure on the charity’s rescue teams than ever before.
It is asking people to support its Join the Christmas Rescue campaign by donating to help rescue teams reach thousands of animals in need.
Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “Christmas may be different for many people this year but for the RSPCA, our teams will be working day in, day out as usual – rescuing, caring and rehabilitating those animals who need us the most.
“Last year, we rescued thousands of animals over the winter months and we fear that due to the pandemic, we could be facing our toughest Christmas yet as we are braced for a rise in abandoned and neglected animals needing our help.
“It’s been a tough year for everyone, including charities, so now more than ever we need your help to continue our vital work saving animals and giving them a voice.
“Our frontline teams are out throughout the winter but they cannot do this alone, which is why the RSPCA has launched its Join the Christmas Rescue campaign to show how we can all help animals.”
Visit www.rspca.org.uk/xmas to get involved.