As the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the UK, the RSPCA say they are still working on the front line to rescue and re-home animals in Cumbria.

Like nurses, police officers and delivery drivers, the charity's rescuers are classed as key workers but need vital funding to continue to save animals from the worst cruelty and neglect.

That's why an emergency appeal has been launched today to help keep RSPCA teams out saving animals throughout the crisis.

60,000

calls about animal neglect since the crisis deepened in March.

3,288

animals the charity is currently caring for across England and Wales.

Ricky Gervais has shown his support for the RSPCA emergency appeal. Credit: Ricky Gervais

The appeal is supported by animal lover and comedian Ricky Gervais, 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.

"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.

“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.”

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Dermot Murphy, Head of the RSPCA Rescue Teams, 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.

Credit: PA

Mr Murphy continues: “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 simply cannot turn our back on animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”