The RSPCA will be providing an emergency-only service to animals through the coronavirus crisis in the wake of the Government’s lockdown.
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 but are now closed to the public.
They are advising anyone who is sick or has symptoms of Coronavirus to have “someone else in the household take care of their pets or ask a friend, family member, neighbour etc to help”.
The move also follows the rise in pet owners opting for online veterinary consultations to get information on non-urgent pet health issues.
RSPCA Rescue Centres:
Rehoming and fostering have been paused but will resume as soon as it is safe.
The organisation says “Staff and volunteers will be focusing on giving love and attention to the hundreds of animals in our care.”
The 17 centres (including wildlife centres) are:
South Godstone, Lockwood and Millbrook, Surrey
Gonsal Farm, Shropshire
Great Ayton, North Yorkshire
Felledge, County Durham
Blackberry Farm, Buckinghamshire
Block Fen, Cambs
Stapeley Grange, Cheshire
Southall Cattery, London
Ashley Heath, Hampshire
Gonsal, Farm, Shropshire
Bryn-y-Maen, Upper Colwyn Bay
There are over 150 RSPCA branches, registered charities in their own right, which are part of the RSPCA family running vital clinics, rehoming centres and charity shops.
Centres and shops are now closed to the public and individual branch policies will be outlined on their own social media channels and/or website detailing any emergency services offered.
The organisation’s four hospital teams in London, Birmingham and Manchester are still working to help emergency cases of sick and injured animals, prioritising animals rescued by frontline staff, but also providing services to our clients on an appointment only basis.
RSPCA 24-Hour Rescue Line:
The animal charity will also be manning its 24-hour rescue line, albeit with fewer hands, so are asking people to call only in the event of an emergency.
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.”