RSPCA receives reports of 18 abandoned animals in Bedfordshire during coronavirus lockdown picture of Red Image RSPCA

More than 1,600 reports of abandoned animals to RSPCA nationally since lockdown began

The RSPCA has received 1,663* reports of abandoned animals across England & Wales since lockdown began – that’s 40 a day.

The charity has released the figures as part of its emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams out on the road during the Coronavirus crisis and continuing to rescue animals most in need.

In Bedfordshire, there have been reports about 18 abandoned animals to the charity’s cruelty hotline since lockdown started on 23 March.

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA rescue teams, said:

“Although much of the country is on lockdown, sadly there are still thousands of animals who need our help, including abandoned pets.

“Many people are finding their pets are a real source of comfort in these anxious times and thankfully cases of abandonment are slightly lower than usual but it’s heartbreaking that some animals are being dumped during this crisis.

“In most cases we don’t know why pets are abandoned but it’s really important to remind people that there is no evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be passed from pets to people.

“There is lots of help and support out there for anyone else struggling to get animal food, with health or behavioural issues, exercising their pets or managing to keep children safe around pets. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Funding needed to help frontline staff continue its work across England and Wales

Since the Government introduced the lockdown measures, the RSPCA has responded to more than 27,000 incidents. The number of animals being cared for by the RSPCA at centres, hospitals and vet surgeries has also grown by hundreds.

Animal rescuers at the charity have been designated key workers by the Government. But funding is needed to help frontline staff continue this crucial work across England and Wales.

Since lockdown began:

  • RSPCA rescuers have dealt with 27,507 incidents of animal cruelty, neglect and suffering animals which need help
  • The charity has received more than 92,800 calls from members of the public
  • There are more than 4,300 animals in RSPCA care**

The RSPCA is also urging pet-owners to make an emergency pet-care plan should they be admitted to hospital with Coronavirus. They should also place a poster in the window informing people that there are pets inside.

If owners are concerned about caring for their pets amid the Coronavirus – or COVID-19 – outbreak, there is lockdown advice and help on the RSPCA website.

To help the RSPCA keep rescuing animals like these and keep its animal hospitals and centres running for emergency treatment and round the clock care through these unprecedented times, please donate whatever you can spare at

*Incidents reported to RSPCA emergency hotline from 23 March – 3 May 2020.
**The RSPCA had 4,368 animals in our care as of 3 May 2020. There are thousands more at RSPCA branches which are charities in their own right.