RSPCA provides emergency service during coronavirus lockdown in Hertfordshire

Charity still providing help to thousands of animals across England and Wales

The RSPCA is providing an emergency-only service to animals through the coronavirus crisis in the wake of government advice.

RSPCA Insp Jaime Godfrey with baby otter

RSPCA Insp Jaime Godfrey with baby otter

The animal charity which has a team of frontline officers, 17 animals centres - including Southridge Animal Centre in Hertfordshire - four wildlife centres and four animal hospitals across England and Wales, has reassured animal lovers in Bedfordshire they will still be dealing with emergency cases.

Chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said: “Despite most of the country staying at home there are still animals which need our help and I’m so incredibly thankful for frontline officers helping animals in emergency situations, our hospital workers for providing emergency treatment and our centre staff and volunteers who are giving love and affection to the hundreds of animals in our care.

“We’ve taken steps to make sure that we are dealing with emergency cases only so we can play our part in stopping the spread of this virus and safeguard our staff and volunteers.

“We rely on the public’s help and we would ask them to only call our helpline in an emergency and visit our website for all other enquiries.”

The RSPCA has a team of frontline officers working around the clock across England and Wales to deal with emergency only cases.

Officers are wearing protective clothing, regularly handwashing before and after handling animals, avoiding entering premises and asking people to bring animals to the door where appropriate and keeping their vans clean. They are sanitising their hands whenever they leave their vehicles.

The RSPCA has 17 nationally run animal centres, which are all now closed to the public and the charity has paused rehoming and fostering and will resume as soon as it is safe.

The four hospital teams in London, Birmingham and Manchester are still working to help emergency cases of sick and injured animals, prioritising the animals rescued by frontline staff, but also providing services to clients on an appointment only basis.

The wildlife centre teams are still working around the clock to help rehabilitate and release sick and injured wild animals. The centres are not open to the public.

All of the rehoming centres and charity shops are now closed to the public.

Chris added: “We know these are really worrying times for everyone and I hope hearing that we are still helping animals is a little piece of good news.

“We know many people will be financially worse off as a result of this crisis but if anyone is in a position to make a donation to help our services continue we would really appreciate it.”