West Country RSPCA officers attended more than 10,000 animals in need during lockdown

Incidents included a fox trapped in an illegal snare and swans that needing saving. Credit: RSPCA

RSPCA officers in the West Country responded to more than 10,000 incidents involving animals in need during the coronavirus lockdown.

Despite operating as normal between March and August, the charity's finances have been severely hit by the pandemic and it is now asking for public help to continue its work.


Incidents responded to by the RSPCA in the West Country

In Devon, the charity's officers were called out to more than 2,500 reports of animals needing to be rescued.

This fox was found seriously injured. Credit: RSPCA

Elsewhere in the West Country one call-out was to a fox who was seriously injured and trapped in an illegal snare. The vixen had a gin trap clamped around her front leg and was found hanging from a brick wall in Swindon, unable to touch the ground.

West Country rescues by region:

  • Cornwall - 1,105 incidents

  • Devon - 2,533

  • Dorset - 1,477

  • Somerset - 2,185

  • Gloucestershire - 1,313

  • Wiltshire - 1,116

  • Bristol - 693

This swan was caught in sewage water at a treatment works in Exeter. Credit: RSPCA

As well as going to the aid of animals being neglected or needing emergency help, the RSPCA spent the lockdown period collecting animals from the homes of people who were admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

The charity has not escaped the financial impact of the pandemic, though, and is now appealing to the public for any help they can give.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer, said: “We’ve had to quickly and drastically change the way we work during these unprecedented times, from the way we re-home animals to the PPE we wear when responding to calls.

“But the priority for us during lockdown has been to continue to be there for those animals who need us - while also helping people who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“But to continue our vital work and to survive the huge impact this pandemic has had on the economy and, therefore, the charity sector, we really need your help."