A CHARITY that protects animals is warning that it could be facing its toughest Christmas yet.
The RSPCA said that last winter it took in more than 7,000 animals every day and received more than 2,000 calls every day, detailing allegations of cruelty and neglect.
And last Christmas Day, the charity received more than 950 calls – the highest number since 2013. During December, it received 63,000 calls, making it the busiest Christmas period for at least four years.
And in Berkshire, it dealt with 799 incidents across the winter period – 269 in December alone.
Now it fears that the financial strain from the Coronavirus pandemic could mean a rise in pets being abandoned and neglected, putting more pressure on the charity’s rescue teams.
To help, the RSPCA is asking supporters to Join the Christmas Rescue.
Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA’s animal rescue teams, said: “Christmas may be different for many people this year but for the RSPCA, our teams will be working day in, day out, as usual, rescuing, caring and rehabilitating those animals who need us the most.
“Last year, we rescued thousands of animals over the winter months and we fear that due to the pandemic, we could be facing our toughest Christmas yet as we are braced for a rise in abandoned and neglected animals needing our help.”
He added: “It’s been a tough year for everyone, including charities, so now more than ever we need your help to continue our vital work saving animals and giving them a voice.
“Our frontline teams are out throughout the winter but they cannot do this alone, which is why the RSPCA has launched its Join the Christmas Rescue campaign to show how we can all help animals.
“From our animal rescuers, hospital and centre staff, and our volunteers to every supporter who picks up the phone to call us when an animal is in need, or donates to help us continue our work –every one of us is vital to make sure we can rescue the animals who need us the most.”
The charity says that £25 can help keep our Animal Rescue Teams on the road and £50 could help feed all the rescued animals in one of its centres for a day.
For more details, log on to www.rspca.org.uk/xmas