The RSPCA is bracing itself for 2,000 calls a day during the festive period as it launches a new appeal to help care for abused, neglected and sick animals.
During December last year and January this year, 9,678 incidents were reported to the animal welfare charity in Yorkshire and the Humber, with 218 of those happening across Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
New figures show that during the same period, the charity received 118,799 calls across England and Wales - 1,916 calls a day (or 79.8 calls an hour, 1.3 calls a minute).
From poorly, unwanted pets callously dumped on the streets to animals and wildlife deliberately cruelly treated, RSPCA inspectors are preparing to see heartbreaking neglect this festive season.
The animal welfare charity expects to take in around 19,000 animals in need this December and January and says that it desperately needs help to care for them.
So it is launching its Kindness at Christmas Appeal, and is asked people contribute cash towards its efforts.
RSPCA superintendent Simon Osborne said: “It’s a sad fact that every day at work throughout the year can be tough for our inspectors and animal welfare and collection officers, but winter really does come with its own challenges and issues. In fact, we expect to take in somewhere in the region of 19,000 animals this winter alone.
“During the festive season alone last year, we rescued over 25,000 animals, many of whom had been cruelly abandoned, injured or abused.
"But we also saw so many acts of kindness by animal lovers, from the passer-by who rescued a shivering and sick puppy days before Christmas, to those who reported suffering animals to our cruelty hotline or volunteers caring for animals in our centres and branches.
"We are asking animal lovers across the country to show kindness this Christmas by supporting our winter appeal.”
To help the RSPCA to continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care, and to support the charity’s campaign, visit www.rspca.org.uk/winterappeal.