RSPCA Cymru has dealt with 1,641 animal welfare incidents in the month following the nation entering lockdown.
Dramatic new figures show that – despite the Covid-19 restrictions – the RSPCA is dealing with more than 51 incidents each and every day in Wales.
The charity has released the figures as part of its emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams out on the road during the Coronavirus crisis and continuing to reach and rescue animals most in need. However, vital funding is needed to help the RSPCA’s frontline staff continue this work.
In total, across England and Wales, RSPCA rescuers have dealt with 21,137 animal welfare incidents between 23 March and 23 April – including many involving cruelty and suffering animals who need help.
RSPCA rescuers have recorded vlogs to show what it’s like working on the frontline, in RSPCA animal hospitals and in animal centres during lockdown.
Officers have responded to dozens of reports in every local authority area of Wales – but have responded to the most lockdown incidents in Cardiff (163), Caerphilly (132) and Rhondda Cynon Taf (113).
Rescues have included – two days after the lockdown was announced – two baby wild mice saved from behind a Cardiff shed, who went onto be hand-reared at the home of an RSPCA officer to avoid travel to a wildlife centre.
The orphaned duo were fed pet-replacement milk from a pipette by the RSPCA, having earlier been found by a member of the public who was pulling down the shed.
In Crumlin, the RSPCA raced to the aid of a troubled swan at Pen-Y-Fan Pond, who had a lot of fishing wire around the back and legs.
Just days after a similar rescue of a swan on the Easter weekend in Pwll, the RSPCA was able to remove the fishing litter hazard and return the bird safely to the wild.
Meanwhile, animal rescuers in Wales have also been helping domestic pets – and the RSPCA teamed-up with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to save a cat stuck up a tree in Cwmbran.
RSPCA animal centres at Newport and Bryn-Y-Maen are currently closed to the public due to the Covid-19 crisis, but continue to provide care for 170 animals – including dogs, cats, rabbits and other domestic animals who have escaped situations of cruelty and neglect. The RSPCA’s veterinary team at Merthyr are working to help sick and injured animals, and deal with emergencies.
Martyn Hubbard, RSPCA Cymru superintendent, said: “Animal cruelty has not stopped for the coronavirus. There are still countless animals across the country in urgent need of help – and these new figures show, since the lockdown, our rescuers have been supporting animals in all parts of Wales.
“Our teams are still out and about rescuing animals in urgent need of care. Rescuers have dealt with almost 1,650 incidents in Wales alone in the last month – an average of more than 50 each and every day.
“And while our animal centres may be closed due to the crisis – they continue to tend to 170 rescue animals all hours of the day; often animals who have escaped the more extreme neglect, cruelty or abandonment.
“But our resources are under huge strain and vital funding is needed to keep our rescue teams out on the road, and our centres and veterinary services providing for animals.
“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be here for animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”
The RSPCA is also urging pet-owners to make an emergency pet-care plan should they be admitted to hospital with coronavirus, including placing a poster in the window informing people that there are pets inside.
Should you wish to help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at www.rspca.org.uk/covid.
Many owners are concerned about caring for their pets amid the coronavirus – or Covid-19 – outbreak. There’s lots of advice and help on the RSPCA website.