Who we are
We're the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) and we've been here for animals since 1824. We're the world's oldest and largest animal welfare charity, with the primary focus of rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming or releasing animals across England and Wales.
Every day, with the help of our people and our generous supporters, we take steps to achieve our mission.
How we're structured
Our structure may at first seem a little confusing, but it's best to picture our frontline workers as a family of animal rescuers, rehabilitators and animal carers, all pulling together to help animals in greatest need.
We have rehoming centres, wildlife rehabilitators and animal hospitals which are funded by donations to the national RSPCA, as well as our local branches. These separately-registered charities work under guidelines set by the national RSPCA and are primarily funded by local donors.
National animal rescue and investigations
Donations made to our national RSPCA fund our animal rescuers out in the field, who:
- rescue animals
- investigate cruelty and organised animal crime
- issue advice and guidance for animal welfare improvements
They're tasked to specific jobs by our national cruelty line team.
Our local branches and national centres aren't able to investigate animal cruelty or welfare concerns - only our national inspectorate do this across England and Wales. Regardless of the geographical area, all reports should be made to our cruelty line.
National rehabilitation, rehoming and wildlife centres
Our animal and equine rehoming centres (including those inside Pets at Home stores) and four wildlife centres primarily take in animals brought to them via our animal rescuers. When resources allow, they'll also take in animals from the public. It's always best to check who to contact and what to do when you find an injured wild animal, as some may require specialists.
With many of our animals having complex behavioural needs we also have a team of clinical animal behaviourists who provide expert support to help our animals find forever homes.
We also have four animal hospitals and clinics, which both support the national RSPCA animal rescuers with sick and injured animals, and also offer subsidised vet treatment to those on low incomes who meet our eligibility criteria. Some local branches also offer these services.
Our local branches play an incredible role in helping animals. We have over 150 branches that work to our policies but are run as separately-registered charities to the national RSPCA. We provide them with a small proportion of funds each year to support their vital work at a local level.
How they fundraise and support
The majority of their funds are raised by the individual branches themselves via a variety of means including charity shops, fundraising events and individual donations.
The primary aim of our branches is to support the animal rescue work of our inspectorate, but many offer other support to their local communities, by way of:
This is achieved through their welfare support schemes or clinics. Find out what support your local branch can offer.
Do branches take in rescued animals?
Branches take in rescued animals from our inspectorate, and also from the public where resources allow. If you'd like to give up an unwanted animal to your local branch to rehome, you should always phone your local team in advance to check whether they have facilities and space.
You can find out if a local branch is a separate charity if their registered charity number differs from the national RSPCA's (219099).
Our other vital work at HQ
Beyond the field, national donations also enable us to:
- campaign to change animal welfare laws
- make a difference internationally
- engage at an industry level to effect change for animals in laboratories
- improve farm animal welfare
- educate young people and adults about the needs of animals
- provide up-to-date, scientifically-backed advice and information about the needs of animals
The team at our West Sussex headquarters also provides the essential foundations we need to run effectively and deliver our mission, such as finance, HR, IT and systems, science, fundraising and communications.