RSPCA Cymru officers rescued more than 8,000 animals in 2018 – covering a massive 188 different animal species – ranging from an African grey parrot to a polecat.

African grey Parrot March 2019The charity’s Annual Summary for Wales – launched today (17 July) – has revealed that the RSPCA inspectorate rescued 8,006 animals – including pets, farm animals and wildlife – throughout 2018, amounting on average to 22 animals rescued each and every day.

Sheep bog rescue 1Aug18 pic2The wide ranging list of species ranges from one African grey parrot, which was found at the school of engineering at Cardiff University, a polecat found at Welshpool Youth Centre, and an ewe which was rescued from a bog hole in Llanidloes. Rescues also included 100 buzzards, 60 grey seals, ten corn snakes, 373 hedgehogs, 196 sheep, 34 tawny owls, one whiskered bat and one golden plover.

Meanwhile, RSPCA officers – working on the frontline 24 hours per day – also rescued 1,514 cats, 601 dogs, 217 domestic rabbits and 143 chickens across the calendar year.

The RSPCA inspectorate in Wales also investigated 10,856 complaints of cruelty over the year and the number of animal owners who were offered and accepted welfare advice was 5,940. The vast majority of RSPCA work is improving animal welfare by giving advice to owners.

Annual Summary figures for 2018 concerning frontline animal welfare work, includes:

Rescuing and collecting 8,006 animals – which included 188 different species.
Rehoming more than 2,000 animals by RSPCA national centres and branches in Wales in 2018.
RSPCA branches in Wales providing 10,000 cases of welfare assistance.
Delivering veterinary treatment for over 3,300 animals in 2018 from the RSPCA Merthyr Tydfil Clinic.
Neutering over 6,400 cats, as part of an RSPCA Wales Board and Cats Protection scheme in 2018.

Buster iiiMartyn Hubbard, RSPCA Cymru superintendent, said: “These statistics show once again the diverse, scale and impact our officers, animal centres, clinics and branches across Wales have towards helping and protecting animals. Our inspectorate is on the frontline around the clock, while RSPCA branches across Wales work above and beyond in their communities to go the extra mile for animal welfare.

“The list of the wide ranging rescues undertaken by our inspectorate includes wildlife being injured accidentally and deliberately, animals becoming trapped or injured, neglected pets, those who have suffered from deliberate mistreatment and also those that have been sadly abandoned.

“As always we thank members of the public for being our eyes and ears and reporting any animal welfare concerns to us on 0300 1234 999.

“We urge anyone thinking of getting a pet – whether it being a cat, dog or rabbit or an exotic pet, to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re the right pet for them. We also like to remind people to ‘adopt don’t shop’ and to consider rehoming instead of buying a pet – as we’d love to be able to rehome even more rescue animals next year.”

The diverse work the RSPCA carries out in Wales also extends to education programmes, campaigns, events and the charity’s unique PawPrints accreditation scheme for public bodies. 2018 also saw the launch of Generation Kind, a set of innovative projects aiming to nurture and encourage the values of kindness and compassion towards all animals within children and young people of today. RSPCA Cymru also had a busy event programme in Wales to raise awareness and promote animal welfare issues.

Statistics for 2018 involving the RSPCA’s wider work in Wales includes:

The return of Big Walkies Live to Cardiff which saw 450 people and 250 dogs take part.
For the third year, RSPCA Cymru attending Pride Cymru – with branded rainbow merchandise. For the very first time, the charity took part in the parade – complete with a rainbow inspectorate van. Over 1,500 event-goers signed up to receive RSPCA messaging at the event.
The presentation of 16 public bodies with 19 RSPCA PawPrints awards, with seven winning a gold award; the most that has been given out at one time. Three one off special recognition awards were also presented to those who went the extra mile for animal welfare in Wales.
The Great Debate taking place again, continuing its concurrent run in Wales since 2015, with the RSPCA’s education advisor interacting with 157* school children, throughout the programme.
Five Great Debate heats being held across Wales – and a grand finale at Siambr Hywel – the Assembly’s old debating chamber in Cardiff, which involved six schools.
Animal welfare teacher training being delivered to 153 student teachers in Wales.
Four Animal Action Days – which involved 35 children and their carers/social workers – being held in Wales.

The charity’s campaigns also had numerous successes for animals over the year. In 2018 RSPCA Cymru welcomed confirmation that the Welsh Government would be bringing forward a bill to ban wild animals in circuses – an issue the charity had been campaigning on for decades. While back in February 2018, the last council in Wales voted to ban the release of sky lanterns from their land, making all local authority land an effective ‘no fly-zone’ for the devices which can harm animal welfare.

RSPCA Cymru – alongside other Animal Welfare Network for Wales member organisations – also disseminated fence post signs to rural landowners on their event stand at the 2018 Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, promoting responsible dog ownership messages including reminding dog walkers to keep their dog on a lead around livestock.

RSPCA Cymru assistant director for external relations, Claire Lawson, said: “It is always insightful to look back at our work – and our statistics from 2018 demonstrates the efforts we go to in making Wales a better place for animals.

“We’re continuing to work hard every day alongside our partners in the police, local authorities and the Welsh Government to improve animal welfare and reduce animal cruelty across Wales.

“In 2018 we launched our flagship programme Generation Kind, a set of innovative projects aiming to nurture and encourage the values of kindness and compassion towards all animals within children and young people of today. We also had a busy event programme in Wales, which helped us to raise awareness about our ongoing campaigns while highlighting important animal welfare messaging.

“As we already move quickly through 2019 and approach another year – we look forward to making further strides with our work to help to spread awareness and to help ensure Wales is a safe place for all animals.”

If you have any animal welfare concerns or find an animal in distress please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. Should you wish to help the RSPCA you can donate online.