RSPCA launch emergency appeal to keep animal rescue teams operating during coronavirus outbreak

The RSPCA have called for "vital funding" in order to keep rescuing animals from cruelty and neglect.

The charity have shut their doors to the public, but their rescuers are classed as key workers and continue to operate.

Their treatment centres also remain open - in the Anglia region they have centres at Block Fen in Cambridgeshire, Southridge in Hertfordshire and East Winch Winch in Norfolk.

The deer was cut free by two RSPCA officers Credit: RSPCA

During the outbreak, staff are only going out to emergency cases, such as a deer in Hertfordshire which had got its antlers tangled in netting.

Two RSPCA officers were called to a field in Wadesmill, near Ware, on 16 March, and were able to cut the deer free.

The RSPCA have appealed for donations in order to continue making rescues Credit: RSPCA

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA Rescue Teams, urged the public to support their work through the coronavirus crisis.

He said: "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 there for the animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us."

The charity cares for hundreds of animals in the East of England - at Block Fen they are looking after 101 creatures - and have admitted coronavirus is already having a financial impact.

A statement from the charity said: "The charity is also facing a huge financial strain as it is already seeing the damaging effect of this crisis on its fundraising income, while the costs of saving, treating and caring for animals continue."

This swan is being cared for at the RSPCA's East Winch centre in Norfolk Credit: RSPCA

Another recent call-out saw an RSPCA officer rescue a swan with a lump in its neck at Houghton Mill in Cambridgeshire.

The bird was captured on 20 March and taken to the charity's East Winch centre where it was scanned and is now being treated.

The swan was scanned after being rescued Credit: RSPCA

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