RSPCA dealt with more than 25,000 lockdown incidents in South East - including a deer stuck in a metal gate in Bedford

Animal charity has gone above and beyond during lockdown

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:46 am

The RSPCA has answered almost one million calls since the start of lockdown one year ago, and officers across the South East have dealt with 25,757 incidents.

The charity has had to adapt the way it works to comply with lockdown rules and social distancing but has continued to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals during the pandemic. One year on, the RSPCA is looking back on some of the amazing achievements, despite challenging times.

In Bedfordshire, there have been 1,332 incidents - including the unfortunate story of a deer which was stuck in a metal gate in Bedford.

This poor muntjac was unable to escape from a back garden in Winchester Road

The poor muntjac was unable to escape from a back garden in Winchester Road, so the RSPCA was called as well as the fire service which bent the posts to free him before releasing him into the wild.

Animal welfare officer ( AWO) Jane Folly said: “This poor deer was truly stuck fast, and he was also very anxious and frightened about us being around him - it can be truly terrifying for wild animals when humans get too close.

“When I saw the fence posts were made of iron, I had to call the local fire service to assist me with the rescue, using their specialist equipment that’s capable of bending metal. It was the only way to free the stricken deer.

"The deer was uninjured apart from a couple of scrapes where he had struggled to free himself, but it was a relief to watch him go free. He was gone in a flash."

Chief executive Chris Sherwood added: “The last year has been incredibly difficult for individuals, for families, for businesses, for charities and for animals. But I’m incredibly proud of the work the RSPCA has managed to do during this challenging year.

“We’ve had to adapt how we work, change our procedures, review our practices, and all while we continue our vital everyday work rescuing, rehabilitating, rehoming and releasing animals, and investigating animal cruelty.

“The pandemic has hit us hard; we’ve had to change how we work, suspend door-to-door fundraising and cancel fundraising events.”