Facts and figures

Key information

  • In 2020 our cruelty line received 1,016,455 calls from members of the public - that's the equivalent of one call every 30 seconds
  • The animal with the highest number of incidents reported in 2020 were dogs (56,563 incidents) and second were cats (55,667 incidents)
  • Every investigation we carry out is prompted by a call from a member of the public
  • Our cruelty line is open from 8am until 8pm every day, 365 days a year
  • In the summertime, we collect an abandoned animal every hour
  • It costs us £140 million pounds a year to run and as a registered charity (with no shareholders) all money is put back into the day to day costs
  • When the weather is hotter we've been known to receive up to 1,000 extra calls a day to our emergency phoneline
  • In 2020 we investigated over 57,000 complaints of animal cruelty

Our branches and centres

We run 14 animal centres, providing care, rehabilitation and rehoming for the most abused, neglected and abandoned animals in England and Wales.

In addition to the national centres, we have 150 'branches' across England and Wales and two branch trusts. Branches are separate charities but with ultimate responsibility to the national society at a legal level. These branches, which are utterly invaluable to our work, run as separate entities and some have their own animal centres. Branches run 42 animal centres across the country in addition to the establishments above.

As a network across England and Wales, throughout 2020, our branches:

  • took in 31,076 animals in need, which included 5,889 wildlife
  • found new homes for 22,939 animals and released 1,698 wildlife. While the number of adoptions is down compared to the annual average of 30,000 (for 2016-2019), this is a huge achievement considering the impact the pandemic has had, both on our personal lives and the ways we work
  • neutered 43,380 animals, including 29,280 owned animals, 13,199 branch animals and 901 feral cats
  • supported 40,412 owned animals with veterinary treatments to prevent suffering; over half of the treatments were for dogs. This figure is down compared to 2019 (59,000), which was expected due to a reduced clinic/veterinary activity during the Covid lockdowns

Our inspectorate

  • We have approximately 408 frontline rescuers
  • We have, on average, one officer (including inspectors and animal rescue officers) for every 162,000 people in England and Wales (based on a population of 58,744,800). This compares to one frontline police officer for every 566 members of the public (police per capita / Home office report)
  • On average each inspector drives around 80 miles a day
  • Our aim is to prevent cruelty and in most cases investigated by our inspectors the welfare of animals is improved by the dispensing of advice and education. The vast majority of this advice is followed by owners who do want to do their best for their animals. 4,245 improvement advice notices and verbal warnings were given out in 2020 and 701 warning notices were given out in 2020


  • The number of our volunteers has doubled since the start of the first national lockdown
  • There's also been more Millennial and Generation Z volunteers than ever before
  • During a 12 month period (May 2020 to May 2021) in particular, there's been an 85% increase in volunteers with the charity currently having more than 16,000 animal lovers donating their time for free to help animals in need
  • We have an army of 4,800 micro-volunteers in total and this has seen a younger volunteer base than ever before with 66% of volunteers under 35, and 34% under 25-years-old
  • The youngest animal care volunteer is 17, whilst the oldest is 101! Many of them continued to volunteer during the pandemic, ensuring animals get the care they need whilst they are in our care
  • More than 100 wildlife casualty volunteers collect sick and injured wildlife in their community and transport them to nearby wildlife centres and vets. In the last 12 months, 550 wild animals and birds have been collected by volunteers
  • Over 300 volunteers foster domestic animals and equines, providing them with safe, caring environments whilst waiting to be adopted to a forever home or whilst we investigate a case of cruelty. Their roles have been crucial during the pandemic, whilst restrictions made rehoming much more challenging

Education and Generation Kind

  • We trained 1,239 student teachers in promoting compassion for animals and the legal responsibility we all have for animal welfare. These teachers have the capacity to reach more than 45,000 students a year
  • We ran 45 courses for youth workers and foster parents last year
  • Our volunteer speakers reached over 16,000 pupils through primary school assemblies
  • Our Wild Things projects at Birmingham and Mallydams reached over 8,000 young people and families
  • Our Animal Action Days for Children in Care reached 117 young people and the Great Debate had 157 participants across England and Wales
  • More than 57,677 teachers and youth justice workers used our interactive online resources last year

About us

  • Our mission is to, by all lawful means, prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate suffering of animals
  • We were established in 1824 as the SPCA - Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Royal patronage followed in 1837 and Queen Victoria gave permission to add the royal R in 1840, making us the RSPCA as we're known worldwide today. Find out more about our history
  • The RSPCA is a registered charity in England and Wales and only exists because of public donations
  • Our patron is Her Majesty the Queen. Read more about our patrons, vice-presidents and celebrity supporters
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