New reports reveals RSPCA in the north west dealt with 16,000 incidents over year of lockdowns

RSPCA officers in the north west have been called out to more than 16,000 incidents since the first coronavirus lockdown began a year ago, according to new figures.

By Phil Cunnington
Monday, 22nd March 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 9:42 am

The incidents include 3,774 in Lancashire and 5,858 in Greater Manchester.

In total, the animal welfare charity has dealt with almost a million calls nationwide since March 23, 2020, when the first Covid-19 lockdown began.

Rescues included:

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An RSPCA care assistant at work. The animal welfare charity dealth with more than 16,000 incidents in the north west in the year from the first Covid-19 lockdown on March 23, 2020. Picture courtesy RSPCA

Rescuing a newborn calf who was drowning in a muddy bog in Greater Manchester on May 31, 2020;

Rescuing a huge red stag who was tangled in fencing and had fallen into a river in Cumbria in December 2020;

Taking in a guinea pig who was found abandoned in the snow in January in Lancashire;

Freeing a trapped coot and releasing him back to his family in Cheshire in June 2020;

A fledgling is checked over by an RSPCA veterinary nurse. A new report shows how the animal welfare charity has changed the way it works since the first Covid lockdown in March 2020. Picture courtesy RSPCA

Rescuing a swan stuck in the ice one a lake in Merseyside in January.

RSPCA officers and local branches also teamed up to support food banks in Lancashire by donating pet food for struggling families.

The charity’s hospitals – including Greater Manchester Animal Hospital – continued to provide emergency vet care, the call centre continued to answer calls and staff at its 14 animal centres, four wildlife centres and branches continued to care for the animals in their care.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “The last year has been incredibly difficult for individuals, for families, for businesses, for charities and for animals. But I’m incredibly proud of the work the RSPCA has managed to do during this challenging year.

RSPCA officers have had to rehome abandoned animals virtually, rather than with site visits, according to a report on the year since the first Covid lockdown in March 2020. Picture courtesy RSPCA

“We’ve had to adapt how we work, change our procedures, review our practices, and all while we continue our vital everyday work rescuing, rehabilitating, rehoming and releasing animals, and investigating animal cruelty.”

During the last year, the society has had to adapt its ways of working in order to adhere with the Government’s ever-changing guidance, including changing the way it rehomed. In order to adhere to social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel, the charity has been virtually rehoming and delivering pets to their new homes, with thousands of animals going off to new homes and foster families since March 23.

The charity has also seen big changes to fund-raising. With the London Marathon cancelled and the RSPCA’s annual One Fun Day shelved, the charity’s events team decided to host a virtual event with animal-themed online sessions and the worlds’ first ever live Zoom pet show. The team is now planning another home pet show on 19 June 2021. Find out how to get involved at

To donate to the RSPCA, visit

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