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RSPCA receives reports of 28 abandoned animals in Norfolk during coronavirus lockdown

The RSPCA has received 28 reports about abandoned animals in Norfolk since the lockdown started back in March.

The charity has released the figures as part of its emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams out on the road during the Coronavirus crisis and continuing to rescue animals most in need.

Animal rescuers at the charity have been designated key workers by the Government but vital funding is needed to help the RSPCA’s frontline staff continue this crucial work across England and Wales.

Harvey, a lurcher from King's Lynn. (34583605)
Harvey, a lurcher from King's Lynn. (34583605)

Since the country went into lockdown on March 23, the RSPCA has had 1,663* incidents of abandonments reported to its cruelty hotline – an average of 40 incidents a day.

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA rescue teams, said: “Although much of the country is on lockdown, sadly there are still thousands of animals who need our help, including abandoned pets.

“Many people are finding their pets are a real source of comfort in these anxious times and thankfully cases of abandonment are slightly lower than usual but it’s heartbreaking that some animals are being dumped during this crisis.

“In most cases we don’t know why pets are abandoned but it’s really important to remind people that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be passed from pets to people.

“There is lots of help and support out there for anyone else struggling to get animal food, with health or behavioural issues, exercising their pets or managing to keep children safe around pets. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Lurcher Harvey was abandoned when his owners were evicted from their home in King’s Lynn.

He was left in a messy, concrete garden and, when the property’s landlord had to self-isolate, had no one to feed him.

The RSPCA was called into to help the terrified dog who officers suspect had been living alone for months. He’s now being cared for by one of the local branches.

In Great Ryburgh, the RSPCA was called to save a pony who was left for dead in a nature reserve.

Nightingale was abandoned in a nature reserve and she was rescued by RSPCA inspector Jason Finch.

She was left on grassland and the concerned landowner contacted the RSPCA to help.

The RSPCA along with a vet, a field officer and rescuers from Redwings, attended and managed to round up the pony using pen sections in order to catch the terrified pony and take her to a private boarding facility for urgent treatment.

Nightingale is aged between 10 -15 years old and she was very skinny and blind in one eye.

She had diarrhoea and she also has a sinus infection which caused discharge from her nose and she had an awful smell coming from her mouth.

The RSPCA has received 28 reports about abandoned animals in Norfolk since the lockdown started back in March.

The number of animals being cared for by the RSPCA at centres, hospitals and vet surgeries has also grown by hundreds.

The RSPCA is also urging pet-owners to make an emergency pet-care plan should they be admitted to hospital with Coronavirus, including placing a poster in the window informing people that there are pets inside.

Many owners are concerned about caring for their pets amid the Coronavirus - or Covid-19 - outbreak.

There’s lots of advice available on the website at: www.rspca.org.uk/coronavirus

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