ANIMAL rescue service RSPCA is appealing to the public to donate vital funds to allow its rescue teams to remain on the front line.

Since the Coronavirus crisis deepened at the start of march - the charity's animal cruelty line has received almost 60,000 calls.

In 2019, RSPCA rescuers dealt with 1,626 welfare incidents in Cumbria alone, and they are continuing to save animals on the frontline through these difficult times.

RSPCA centres are now closed to the public, however, the charity is continuing to provide a vital emergency-only service to thousands of animals across England and Wales - a total of 3,288 of them.

Even more animals are expected to be in their care in the coming weeks as the rescue teams bring in more animals in need.

The charity is also facing financial strain as the crisis has impacted on its fundraising income.

Dermot Murphy, head of the RSPCA rescue teams, said: “This is a time of national crisis, and many of us are anxious about the future and our loved ones.

"This crisis has touched all areas of life and the RSPCA is no different.

"As we all face the biggest challenge of a generation, the RSPCA must continue to be on the frontline, rescuing and caring for the animals who need us most.

“Our rescuers, vets and nurses have been designated key workers by the Government which means we can carry on saving animals from cruelty and neglect but we rely entirely on generous public donations to fund our vital services.

“We are facing immense challenges and huge pressures on strained resources, but our hugely dedicated teams are out there dealing with emergencies and our centres continue to deliver vital care to thousands of animals, with more expected in the coming weeks.

“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we simply cannot turn our back on animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

To donate to the cause, visit the website at: