Harrowing tales from day on RSPCA helpline as animals beat & burned every 30secs

More than a million worried animal lovers call the RSPCA each year – on average that’s a call for help every 30 seconds.

With a 200-strong team working 365 days a year, the team is at the end of the phone ready to help animals most in need.

With 84,000 calls to the emergency line every month, a staggering 1,500 of those are about intentional cruelty.

Call handlers steel themselves for harrowing reports of animals being shot, stabbed, kicked, beaten and even burned and a summer surge of around 400 calls per month puts the rescue teams under even more pressure.

Here, as the Daily Mirror teams up with the RSPCA to Cancel Out Cruelty this summer, the charity shares a snapshot of a typical day at the helpline.

This unique insight reveals that between 7am and 11pm on a single Wednesday this summer, a huge 4,630 calls went in to the helpline, with 1,259 incidents created.

Those involved reports of five improper killings, 40 beatings and even a mutilation.

The helpline also dealt with 96 reports of animals being abandoned across England and Wales on that single day, with calls about 42 cats, 29 dogs and a horse left to fend for themselves…

For animals in distress call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999

The first call comes in at 7.06am from a police officer in London following a raid on a suspected cannabis farm.

The previous night he had called for assistance after a kitten was found abandoned during the raid in East London.

This morning he was calling to say the RSPCA need not collect the kitten as previously arranged as a home had already been found for it – a positive start to the day.

But soon more animal reports come in.

A budgie is found dumped in a cage outside a school in Bedfordshire and an anonymous report tells of a puppy abandoned in a house in St Albans, Herts.

Both jobs are immediately passed to frontline officers.

204 calls so far

3 abandonment reports

In Basildon, Essex, a very skinny Mastiff-type dog has been reportedly left alone in a faeces-covered house for days.

The job was passed to Inspector Chloe Frost, who found the dog in the house alone, surrounded by empty cans chewed as it scavenged for food.

She took him for veterinary treatment and he will be taken into the care of the RSPCA while efforts are made to trace the owner.

386 calls so far

2 intentional harm

7 abandonment reports

An inspector in Leicestershire is looking into reports a kitten was beaten to death.

Another has been assigned to check on dozens of guinea pigs following a call from a member of the public – but they are all found to be happy and healthy.

751 calls so far

4 intentional harm

9 abandonment reports

In Leicestershire, an inspector has been asked to check on the welfare of a dog after reports that the owner tried giving him drugs to make him high.

The dog is found in good condition, but the owner says he is waiting for the council to find a place to board it as he should not have the pet at the flat.

The inspector gives advice and tells him he must clean up.

She arranges to return at another date to check on the welfare of the dog.

1,095 calls so far

12 intentional harm

20 abandonment reports

An officer is sent to a report of four rabbits abandoned in a cage in Dunstable, Beds – two dead.

A report of cockfighting in the West Country is passed to the RSPCA’s special operations unit.

12 noon
1,492 calls so far

15 intentional harm

29 abandonment reports

Three officers rescued two abandoned ponies with overgrown hooves on some land in Crymych, Pembrokeshire.

They attended the scene alongside a vet, a farrier and members of the World Horse Welfare charity.

The ponies are receiving further care.

2,011 calls so far

25 intentional harm

56 abandonment reports

A dog is reported to be emaciated and struggling to stand at an address in Leicestershire, but the inspector finds it in a healthy condition.

It is suspected it was a malicious call that potentially took the inspector away from other rescues.

2,310 calls so far

27 intentional harm

66 abandonment reports

Inspector Steven Davies is told a fox he rescued earlier in Worcester did not have a broken leg as had been feared.

It did have mange, so was taken to a specialist wildlife centre for treatment.

It will be released into the wild once it has fully recovered.

2,546 calls so far

31 intentional harm

72 abandonment reports

Lancashire inspector Emma Dingley helped transfer a dog believed to have been abandoned in a junk-filled garden in Wigan. The owner signed it over into RSPCA care and after a veterinary check-up it was taken to a local branch to be cared for and re-homed.

2,855 calls so far

32 intentional harm

76 abandonment reports

In Nottingham an officer was sent to an address over concerns about the welfare of a dog said to be severely underweight.

Inspector Annette Della-Porta found the elderly dog to be skinny with severe dermatitis.

The owner could not afford treatment and signed the dog into RSPCA care.

Annette rushed the pet to emergency treatment.

3,240 calls so far

35 intentional harm

78 abandonment reports

In Grimsby, Lincs, an officer was sent to locate a feral cat reported to be in poor health with a burst abscess on its neck.

But the inspector found another cat with severely matted hair and flies buzzing around it.

She took it for emergency treatment and will make enquiries to trace its owner. She will try and track down the other cat in need of help.

3,522 calls so far

41 intentional harm

86 abandonment reports

A Cambridgeshire dog owner reported that the dog they bought from a breeder five days earlier was throwing up blood and not eating or drinking. A vet had advised calling the RSPCA due to puppy farming concerns.

3,836 calls so far

43 intentional harm

89 abandonment reports

In the Home Counties, a caller reported concerns about squirrels being drowned by a neighbour and an inspector began a probe.

In Sheffield an investigation was launched after a video appeared on social media showing a woman hitting a dog in a park.

4,208 calls so far

46 intentional harm

93 abandonment reports

An inspector helped a mum guinea pig and her five babies which had been abandoned in a pushchair by bins in Norwich.

RSPCA animal rescue officer Paige Burnham said: “It is heartbreaking to think that there are irresponsible people who dump animals when they are no longer wanted, rather than turning to rescuers to ask for help.”

4,342 calls so far

51 intentional harm

93 abandonment reports

A police force in the Midlands shared information they had received from a member of the public about dog poisonings.

4,533 calls so far

51 intentional harm

96 abandonment reports

A vet reports a dead white rabbit was found in a pet carrier, wrapped in a towel, in the pond in Westmoreland Park, Bracknell, Berks.

RSPCA Inspector Malwina Gasiorek said: “The rabbit had severely overgrown incisors, possible bruising under the left eye, small skin mass on a hind leg and they suspect because it was wrapped in towel it was dead before being thrown into the pond in the cage.”

4,630 calls so far

1,259 incidents created

52 intentional harm

96 abandonment reports

There have been calls about 42 cats, 29 dogs and one horse, three wild mammals and 15 captive mammals, four farm animals and two exotic animals (exotics include animals such as reptiles and primates).