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RSPCA celebrates 200th birthday during its 'busiest week'

RSPCA celebrates 200th birthday during its 'busiest week'

The RSPCA is set to mark its 200th birthday amid its busiest week of the year - with the charity using its landmark anniversary to issue a rallying call to the public to join a million-strong movement for animals.

Last year, the charity took an astonishing 31,947 calls to its emergency line during its birthday week (12-18 June) - more than any other week of the entire year. 

The charity's rescuers also dealt with 5,573 incidents in that week alone - with its dedicated frontline teams responding to countless pets, wild and other animals subjected to cruelty, neglect and mistreatment.

Animal rescuers are now braced for another busy period this year - as they prepare to celebrate 200 years of the RSPCA working with the public to change animals' lives for the better.

It's already been incredibly busy for RSPCA officers throughout their 200th year - with 330,415 calls received by the charity's emergency line (up to 27 May) even before the busiest summer months begin; and rescuers dealing with a whopping 116,512 incidents of concern.

Earlier this year, in Lancashire, an emaciated dog found straying by a member of the public was totally transformed after a few weeks in the care of the charity.

Staffie cross Rupert was found on Barden Lay on March 29, and a vet was so shocked by his emaciated appearance that they contacted the RSPCA.

Rupert then went into the care of the RSPCA's Southport, Ormskirk & District Branch, where he gained weight and had his life turned around. 

He's an excitable young dog who loves everyone he meets - and staff at the charity's Southport-based Branch hope that, as the 200th birthday celebrations continue, he will soon find his forever home.

Now - the charity is urging people to join its million-strong movement with animals facing "some of the biggest threats in our history" - including the cost of living crisis, the growth of intensive farming and climate change.

RSPCA Chief Executive Chris Sherwood said: "Our dedicated rescue teams are so busy on the frontline for animals, and - as we celebrate our landmark 200th anniversary this week - we're expecting to be as busy as ever. 

"Our birthday week was the busiest week of the whole year last year - and we're proud that, working with the public, we're continuing to help dogs like Rupert.

"But we know we can't do this alone - and the support of our friends in the animal welfare sector, and the public, is set to be more important than ever as we all look to work together to create a kinder, better world for all animals.

"To keep creating a better world for every animal, we need more people to take action. That's why, in our 200th year, we want one million people to join our movement - and to share in our vision for every kind."

Sunday (16 June) marks two centuries since the animal welfare organisation - then the SPCA - was founded at Old Slaughter's Coffee House in London, by a London vicar, Arthur Broome, and 22 founding members, including the MPs William Wilberforce and Richard Martin. 

By 1840, Queen Victoria had given permission for the Society to add 'Royal' to its name - and this Royal link was recently maintained with HRH King Charles III confirmed as the charity's new patron.

In the 200 years since its formation, the RSPCA has worked to change industries, laws, minds, and animals' lives - and believes working with the public, and education, will be key with animals now facing a raft of new challenges.

The charity has launched a new tool on its website to help people understand how they can help an animal in need as quickly as possible.

Chris added: "We're so proud that - in so many ways - animals' lives have changed beyond recognition over the last two centuries.

"But we know animals are now facing some of the biggest threats in our history, from climate change to intensive farming, the cost of living and the ongoing effects of the pandemic. 

"And the fact that we expect our birthday week to again be one of our busiest of the year for our officers highlights how the RSPCA cannot do this alone - animal welfare is for everyone.

"That's why we've launched a new tool on our website, to help the public understand the best and quickest way of helping an animal they think needs help - like those which may be sick, injured, lost, or abandoned.

"Whether it's transferring animals to the vet, sharing advice online, or contacting our rescuers to respond to cruelty and neglect, we can all do our bit for animals. Because a world that is better for animals, is better for us all."

To find out more about how you can join the RSPCA's million-strong movement for animals visit: