Every day our inspectors have been working around the clock to rescue animals in need. Our vets have been treating them, our animal centres have been caring for them and our volunteers and supporters have been with us every step of the way.
Take a look back at some of our proudest successes last year:
1. We had a world first! In March, we released the first ever recorded wild-born twin seals back into the North Sea. The brothers were rescued after being abandoned by their mother in Norfolk, due to human disturbance.
2. We released a report detailing the ineffectiveness of Breed Specific Legislation which gained nationwide media coverage and spurred the launch of our #EndBSL petition. We hope that our 50,000 signatures (and counting!) will help lead to a change of these outdated and unfair laws when we deliver them to parliament next year.
3. We reported on the huge rise in pet abandonments we see over the summer months – and showed how vital our rescue work is by tracking the lovely Peanut’s recovery! She was found injured, starving and alone in a layby in Essex but made a full recovery and went off to a loving new home in the space of just a few months.
4. Our special operations unit helped secure convictions for eleven animal abusers who used dogs to torture and kill wildlife thought to be in the thousands across Somerset, Dorset, Devon and South Wales. Ten of the men received jail time for their crimes against deer, rabbits and badgers.
5. We opened a brand new adoption centre in Friern Barnet in North London which is helping rehome some of the injured stray cats who have received treatment at Harmsworth Animal Hospital. This is excellent and timely news given the growing cat crisis in London.
6. We rehomed over 180 tarantulas that came into our Brighton branch as the result of a spider-loving couple’s break-up!
7. Our farm animals team updated the RSPCA welfare standards for both pigs and laying hens and have continued to work with farmers across England and Wales to help maintain excellent farming practices!
8. In June we deployed 31 inspectors, officers and equine experts across Appleby Horse Fair. Over the very busy weekend, we gave out 13 warnings and removed six horses due to welfare concerns. And we’re there again this year to safeguard animal welfare.
9. Also in June, we hosted a groundbreaking international conference as part of our initiative to end severe suffering in lab animals. It was attended by more than 150 representatives from 24 countries, including scientists, employees from pharmaceutical companies and those involved in the day to day care of lab animals.
10. Season 4 of The Dog Rescuers aired on Channel 5 which showed the brave and tireless work of our inspectors across England and Wales. It also helped us give some very special characters a second chance at a happy home life!
11. We succeeded in getting three convictions for members of a puppy-farming ring in Essex where 76 sick dogs and puppies were rescued from terrible conditions by our special operations unit. The three defendants pleaded guilty to fraud in October and are soon to be sentenced for animal welfare offences.
12. In October we successfully rehomed the last of 28 Shetland ponies rescued twelve months prior in Shropshire. Staff at Gonsal Farm Equine Centre had concerns that not all would even survive due to the sick and emaciated condition they were found in – but all are now very happy in their new homes!
13. We hosted 41 Big Walkies events which saw over 4500 people and 260 dogs join in with our huge sponsored walks across the country – helping raise almost £150,000 to continue to protect and defend animals in need.
14. A whopping 120,000 of you signed our Scrap the Puppy Trade petition and we’re hopeful that this will help lead to new regulations to tackle the unscrupulous trade.
15. We rescued and rehabilitated a red-footed booby bird that was found on an East Sussex beach, roughly 5,000 miles from home. After three months of treatment and care at our Mallydams Wood wildlife centre, he has been flown to the Cayman Islands and is soon to be released into a nature reserve – providing him with a much more suitable climate and environment!
16. We launched our Give a Little Love video just in time for Christmas, which tells the story of your support and how it helps us care for animals throughout the year.
Please share it with your loved ones!
We’re looking forward to achieving even more for animals this year!