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Plea made to help animal charity continue vital work in West Norfolk

An animal charity has launched an emergency appeal for help to ensure its West Norfolk rescue centre can keep working during the coronavirus crisis.

The RSPCA's wildlife centre at East Winch is currently caring for more than 130 sick and injured animals.

But the charity says its nationwide animal cruelty line has received more than 60,000 calls from the public this month alone.

Dozens of sick and injured animals are being cared for at the RSPCA's East Winch wildlife centre
Dozens of sick and injured animals are being cared for at the RSPCA's East Winch wildlife centre

And it is warning it needs help now to make sure that its rescue teams, who are classed as key workers, can continue to help animals in need.

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA's rescue team, said: “This is a time of national crisis, and many of us are anxious about the future and our loved ones. This crisis has touched all areas of life and the RSPCA is no different.

"As we all face the biggest challenge of a generation, the RSPCA must continue to be on the frontline, rescuing and caring for the animals who need us most.

“Our rescuers, vets and nurses have been designated key workers by the government which means we can carry on saving animals from cruelty and neglect and we rely entirely on generous public donations to deliver our vital services.

“We are facing immense challenges and huge pressures on strained resources, but our hugely dedicated teams are out there dealing with emergencies and our centres continue to deliver vital care to thousands of animals, with more expected in the coming weeks.

“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be there for the animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

Among the animals currently being treated at East Winch are two seals which were both injured after becoming trapped in fishing netting.

However, supporters are being asked not to take donations of towels and newspapers to the centre, as there is only a small number of staff working there who are focusing on treating the animals in their care.

To donate, visit www.rspca.org.uk/covid

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