RSPCA expects hundreds of calls this Christmas due to Covid-19

The RSPCA is bracing itself for the toughest Christmas yet as the charity fears the financial strain from the pandemic could mean a rise in pets being abandoned and neglected.

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 3:06 pm

Last Christmas Day, the charity received more than 950 calls, the highest number since 2013 and it received 63,000 calls throughout December, or 2,000 a day, making it the busiest festive period for at least four years. It dealt with 1,599 incidents in South Yorkshire across the winter period of December to February, and 571 in December alone.

This year, faced with the financial strain of the Coronavirus crisis, the RSPCA is concerned that more people may struggle to care for their pets and could see a rise in them being abandoned or neglected, putting more pressure on the charity’s rescue teams than ever before.

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The RSPCA needs your help this winter

The charity’s officers are out on the frontline 365 days a year, including Christmas Day. Despite the pandemic, this year will be no exception with frontline teams saving animals and caring for them at our centres and hospitals across England and Wales, as they have been doing throughout the crisis.

This year the RSPCA is asking supporters to Join the Christmas Rescue by donating to help rescue teams reach the thousands of animals who desperately need them.

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.

“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.”

Donating £25 could help keep rescue teams on the road and £50 could help feed all the rescued animals for a day. To help visit

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.