RSPCA deals with more than 3,500 incidents in Lancashire during lockdown

RSPCA workers rescued a trapped hedgehog in Blackpool

The animal welfare charity’s frontline officers, animal carers and vets have continued to rescue, treat and care for animals in need since the country went into lockdown on March 23.

During lockdown (March 24 to August 5), RSPCA officers in Lancashire have responded to 3,543 incidents – an average of 26 a day.

One incident involved having to ‘chisel’ a hedgehog out of a gap after getting stuck between a tree and pillar in Blackpool. RSPCA officers went to help the trapped hog, giving him some water, and the landlord – a joiner – chiselled away at the tree to free him.

Officers took the hedgehog to a vet for a check-up and then he was released back into the garden a few days later.

As well as operating an emergency service, rescuing animals in need, RSPCA officers have also been collecting animals from the homes of people who have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, who may not have anyone else to care for them while their owners are being treated.

The charity’s staff were quickly designated as key workers so they could continue to respond to emergencies and rescue animals from cruelty and neglect. And the organisation quickly responded to changing procedures and protocols in light of the global pandemic.

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 rehome 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. Please donate whatever you can spare at www.rspca.org.uk/covid.”

Lancaster Guardian