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RSPCA responds to more than 3,000 incidents in Kent, including in Sevenoaks and Broadstairs

A stranded hedgehog rescued from a drain with BBQ and salad tongs and a curious fox cub are just two of the thousands of call-outs involving the RSPCA in Kent during lockdown.

The animal welfare charity has responded to more than 100,000 incidents overall between March 24 and August 5, including 3,422 in the county, an average of 25 a day.

A fox cub got stuck in a watering can in Sevenoaks Picture: RSPCA
A fox cub got stuck in a watering can in Sevenoaks Picture: RSPCA

RSPCA animal rescuers were designated key workers by the Government at the beginning of lockdown and staff have continued to rescue, treat and care for animals in need.

In Sevenoaks in April, an officer rescued a fox cub who got his head stuck inside a watering can, after a call from a member of the public.

RSPCA employee Lynn White used Vaseline to lubricate his neck and slide him out.

In Broadstairs, a hedgehog got stuck when he fell down a drain pipe in June. A charity worker used neighbours' salad and BBQ tongs as well as a long spoon to free him after a 90-minute rescue mission.

This is just a snapshot of the RSPCA's daily operations, with the organisation answering 442,344 calls and dealing with 106,676 incidents during lockdown, an average of 790 a day.

Watch: Some of the most dramatic rescues by the RSPCA during lockdown

The organisation says vital funding is needed to help continue its work rescuing animals and caring for the 6,381 animals in its care across England and Wales.

Animals have also been collected from the homes of people who have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, who may not have anyone else to care for them while their owners are being treated.

Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer, said: “We’ve had to quickly and drastically change the way we work during these unprecedented times, from the way we rehome animals to the PPE we wear when responding to calls.

A hedgehog got stuck in a drain in Broadstairs Picture: RSPCA
A hedgehog got stuck in a drain in Broadstairs Picture: RSPCA

“But the priority for us during lockdown has been to continue to be there for those animals who need us, while also helping people who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“Now, more than four months into lockdown, we’ve passed a milestone as we responded to our 100,000th incident.

"And our staff are as busy as ever collecting abandoned animals, investigating complaints of cruelty, providing life-saving veterinary treatment to the sick and injured, and finding wonderful new homes for our residents.

“But to continue our vital work and to survive the huge impact this pandemic has had on the economy and, therefore, the charity sector, we really need your help."

To donate to the RSPCA, click here.

Escaped animals, unusual finds and news from the RSPCA can all be found here.

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