Published: 11:19, 23 March 2020
| Updated: 12:18, 23 March 2020
Not all life has stopped. The RSPCA is still rescuing and re-homing animals in Kent.
Chief executive praises staff and volunteers for their dedication to animals
The charity issued a a release to re-assure animal lovers that it was continuing to rescue and re-home animals across the county despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Across the country, the RSPCA has a team of frontline officers backed up by 17 animals centres and four wildlife centres - including Leybourne Animal Centre in Kent - and four animal hospitals.
Each has put into action contingency plans to cope with the weeks and months ahead.
There are also some 160 RSPCA branches across England and Wales.
In Kent these include Canterbury and District, Ashford, Folkestone and District, Kent North West, Medway, Isle of Thanet, Isle of Sheppey, Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone and Kent West, each of which are registered charities in their own right.
The branches are part of the RSPCA family running vital clinics, rehoming centres and charity shops.
The majority of this incredible work is carried out by volunteers, so there may be changes to local services.
Most are still operating at the moment, but this is fast-changing, so please check their websites, social media channels or call before you visit.
The RSCPCA's chief executive, Chris Sherwood, said: “Thanks to our amazing, dedicated and professional team of staff and volunteers, the RSPCA is still rescuing and rehoming animals in these difficult times.
“We are having to change the way we work, but please be assured we are doing everything we can to make sure that we get help to the animals most in need.”
He said: “There is a great deal of anxiety, worry and concern at the moment. Being around animals can bring great pleasure, companionship and mental health benefits, so we hope people will draw comfort from spending time with their pets and watching wildlife to help them through the weeks and months ahead.”
As part of the new precautions, the charity's frontline officers are regularly hand-washing before and after handling animals, avoiding entering premises and asking people to bring animals to the door where appropriate. They are talking especial care to keep their vans clean and are sanitising their hands whenever they leave their vehicles.
Each year the RSPCA answers more than a million calls from the public concerned about animals.
The charity is asking people only to call in emergencies - helpful advice for less serious situations can be found on its website. Calls may take longer to be answered than normal because of reductions in staff numbers.
The wildlife centre are still working around the clock to help rehabilitate and release sick and injured wild animals, but they are no longer open to the public for visits.
If you find a sick or injured wild animal, contact the emergency line - 0300 1234 999.
If you’ve found a baby animal which appears to be orphaned there’s also advice on the website.
The RSPCA’s 17 nationally run animal centres are still re-homing animals, but rather than visit the centre, anyone looking to adopt an animal can look at the RSPCA website.
It's hospital's are still working but staff are dealing with emergencies only and on an appointment basis.
Extra hygiene measures are in place to protect staff and visitors.
Visit the RSPCA here.
The charity's cruelty line, for animals being mistreated, is 0300 1234 999
More by this authorAlan Smith