RSPCA call handlers and frontline rescue teams facing increasing pressure
As the RSPCA expects to receive more than 3,600* calls per day during its busiest time – the charity has issued advice to the public to try to allow urgent calls to take priority.
This advice can include checking the RSPCA website for practical advice before calling, where safe to do so dealing with a situation yourself, or transporting the animal to nearby help.
The aim is to raise awareness that unfortunately the RSPCA cannot get out to every call – they have just 408 frontline officers for England and Wales – and that animal welfare is a shared responsibility in our communities.
RSPCA chief veterinary officer Caroline Allen said: “Our frontline call takers and rescue teams are under huge pressure at the moment and we are prioritising our officers to attend the most urgent cases where their expertise is needed and others cannot help.
“We receive a call every 30 seconds during our busiest times – to allow those animals most in need of our services to get the help they need – our message to people is to first check the practical advice on our website before they call us so emergency calls can get through as quickly as possible.”
“With calls back to pre pandemic levels, it may be appropriate to advise someone who has found an injured animal to take them directly to the vet, where it is safe to do so, as it may be quicker than waiting for an RSPCA officer to attend. This may result in an increased number of animals coming to vets directly for treatment.
“We know vets are under immense pressure at the moment, we cannot do our work without them, and we want to support them when managing expectations for the public. The RSPCA is grateful for all the help and time vets give towards helping the RSPCA and most importantly, animals in need.
“There will also be times we will ask the public to help animals themselves wherever possible and also where statutory bodies cna help, for example when dealing with stray dogs.”
Caroline added: “Protecting and supporting wildlife is just one example where everyone can play their part.
“For everyone that can help safely manage a situation themselves, with advice from reputable sources such as our website, that frees up a call handler to help another animal in need.”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website