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Remember the animals, pleads RSPCA, as donations appeal is launched

Donation line - 08707 540 540 - set up to take public’s calls

The RSPCA is asking the public for donations to help it cope with the enormous cost of the floods across England and Wales.

The floods are estimated to have cost the Society at least £300,000, and the bills are expected to rise as the RSPCA continues to rescue farm animals, horses and pets trapped by rising water.
The Society has been stretched to the limit, with inspectors from across the country and up to a third of the organisation’s frontline staff sent to the worst-hit areas. This massive effort has restricted the RSPCA’s day-to-day work but latest figures (Wednesday morning) show staff have so far helped up to 3,000 animals, had requests for water for 5,616 animals, and rescued 62 people.

RSPCA officers are working alongside the emergency services and the Red Cross, continuing to rescue animals and their owners in distress, transporting paramedics and electrical engineers. The Society is also doing what it can to help co-ordinate the provision of clean drinking water to the areas where it is most needed, especially to farmers, stables and livestock owners.

Now the RSPCA is launching a public appeal to help fund this work. Donations can be made using the Society’s website www.rspca.org.uk, or a special telephone line 08707 540 540.

RSPCA Inspectorate’s Chief Officer Andy Foxcroft said: “This is the biggest deployment of RSPCA staff for a generation, and nothing like we have done before. Many of our officers have been working all hours, and calls are still coming in from farmers, animal owners and others who urgently need help.

“Large numbers of people simply have no access to clean water, and we’re desperately doing whatever we can to help keep animals alive and make sure they don’t suffer.

“We are working hard to help wherever we can and bracing ourselves to deal with the after-effects of any more rain. One of the biggest challenges for us will be getting back to normal once this crisis passes. A lot of our officers will have a huge backlog of work that they were dealing with before the floods began, and we will need the public’s help and patience.”

He added: “We would also like to thank the countless members of the public and businesses in and around these devastated areas who have come forward to help. Many people have already offered shelter to animals, water containers or whatever else they can.”