RSPCA braces for busiest ever winter in Lancashire after receiving 800 calls across county last Christmas
Nearly 800 animals were in need of the RSPCA's help across Lancashire last Christmas, the charity has revealed.
Figures released by the charity reveal that on Christmas Day 2018, it received a total of 934 calls to its cruelty line in the UK - the highest number for five years and almost a third more than in 2017.
The Christmas Day calls were among 61,000 calls to the charity’s cruelty line in December, from across the UK. An increase of 5,000 calls from the previous year.
Of these calls, 3,676 were logged in the North West, including 776 in Lancashire alone.
As a result of these calls, more than 5,000 animals were taken in over the Christmas period last year.
This included more than 2,100 cats and more than 1,000 dogs, as well as hundreds of wildlife.
This year, the RSPCA is expecting even more demand for its help, as it expects to take in more than 10,000 animals across the country.
Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer, said: "Our cruelty line received more than 900 calls on Christmas Day last year and our rescue officers are always out working through the festive period to help animals in need.
"We are expecting to take in more than 10,000 animals this winter which means the officers, vets and animal care staff are braced for another busy festive period.
"Hospital staff will be working to provide veterinary care for injured and sick animals and our animal centre staff will be making sure the hundreds of pets and wild animals in our care over Christmas are well looked after.
"Rescue work doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas. We know that animals need our help all-year round and our officers are out in all weathers helping save pets from abuse and neglect, and rescuing wildlife who may be injured or in need of assistance.
"We can’t do this on our own - we rely on our generous supporters to help the many animals who come into our care this Christmas in urgent need whether it is for veterinary care, medicine, food or a safe, comfortable and warm bed.
"We are asking animal lovers to Stock the Sleigh for the RSPCA and help us to care for these animals in desperate need this winter."
Whilst most people tuck into their Christmas dinners, the charity says its dedicated inspectors will be working 24 hours a day to rescue pets and wildlife from danger.
It costs around £670,000 to run an RSPCA centre for a year and this winter, the RSPCA is asking people to help 'Stock the Sleigh for the RSPCA'.
Donations to Stock the Sleigh will help the RSPCA care for all the animals it takes in over the Christmas period.
To help the RSPCA deliver vital supplies to thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals, you can visit www.rspca.org.uk/giftofkindness
Number of calls to the RSPCA in the North West last Christmas
Cheshire - 648
Cumbria - 299
Greater Manchester - 1,130*
Lancashire - 776*
Merseyside - 823*
Total - 3,676
*RSPCA figures for these counties are incomplete due to a move over to a new system of reporting.