KEY workers from the RSPCA have rescued over 1,200 animals in need in Worcestershire since the coronavirus lockdown.

The charity's officers have dealt with 1,231 incidents in the county since the lockdown began on March 23 - an average of nine per day.

Across the country, the RSPCA has answered 442,344 calls and dealt with 106,676 incidents - that’s an average of 790 incidents a day.

Redditch Advertiser: RSPCA officer Brian MilliganRSPCA officer Brian Milligan

Some of the rescues carried out in Worcestershire include an injured Shetland pony who was alone at the side of a road in Upton-upon-Severn on July 3.

The pony, now named Axl, was found by two members of the public who called the RSPCA.

Axl had a nasty injury to his front leg which was dripping with blood and making it difficult for him to walk.

He is now being cared for at a local equine hospital.

Another incident involved a bat who got stuck in a chimney in Broadheath.

Redditch Advertiser: RSPCA officer Emma Byrne rescuing a cat during lockdownRSPCA officer Emma Byrne rescuing a cat during lockdown

Inspector Suzi Smith was called to help the stricken critter on May 10 after he fell down a chimney into a fireplace.

Luckily, he wasn’t injured so he was rescued, checked over and released the following day.

As well as operating an emergency service, rescuing animals in need, RSPCA officers have also been collecting animals from the homes of people who have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19.

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.

“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."

Redditch Advertiser: RSPCA officer Claire Thomas helps a seagull during the coronavirus lockdownRSPCA officer Claire Thomas helps a seagull during the coronavirus lockdown

RSPCA animal rescuers were designated key workers by the government at the beginning of lockdown but the global pandemic has had a huge impact on the charity’s finances.

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

Dermot added: "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. Please donate whatever you can spare."

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