Huge rise in calls to RSPCA – including a sighting of Bigfoot!

The RSPCA has released a list of the silliest calls it has received this summer in a bid to discourage timewasters. The number of telephone calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour Animal Cruelty telephone line has risen by a whopping 65 per cent since last January, and the charity is asking the public to show patience as it prioritises the workload.

Although the number of calls to the 0300 1234 999 helpline increases each year during the summer months, this year has already seen the RSPCA facing an unprecedented demand.

The charity also stressed that calls about stubborn cats, mythical creatures and birds on a wire put unnecessary strains on services during the summer. This is at a time when the RSPCA get more calls about dogs in hot cars, animals wounded in airgun incidents or animals dumped in the holidays – all of which must be a top priority for the charity and increase during the lighter summer months.

RSPCA chief inspector Dermot Murphy says,

“Summer has always seen surges in demand, but like many charities we are facing a big rise in calls at a time when our resources are under most strain. Much as we would like to help, we simply haven’t got the staff to personally investigate each and every issue that the public brings to us, so we must prioritise to make sure we get to the animals most in need”

Other calls received include:

  • Someone who has just seen bigfoot
  • A caller who wanted to know where to buy a bird noise CD from
  • Caller’s car had broken down and said police advised them to phone the RSPCA. We explained they probably meant RAC.
  • A woman rang us because her husband would not get out of bed and take the dog for a walk.
  • Person complaining that her cat was not responding to calls to come in the house
  • Caller wanted us to go out and teach her dog the green cross code
  • Caller said bird was sat on telegraph line
  • Person was watching a film where an animal had been attacked. The film was Call of the Wild starring Charlton Heston and was made in 1972
  • A caller who was angry because she had seen a report which said children were behaving “like animals”. She was disgusted because animals don’t behave badly

The RSPCA ask all callers to please remain patient and, if asked to wait, to hang on particularly if their calls are urgent. It is worth remembering the RSPCA has less than 500 frontline staff for the whole of England and Wales who deal with these calls and investigations (equating to one for every 110,446 people), and their workload during this time increases dramatically.

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