Guidance for pets

Firstly, you can find the latest Government advice here:

RSPCA Guidance

The RSPCA is providing an emergency-only service to animals through the coronavirus crisis in the wake of UK Government and Welsh Government advice

Frontline Officers

The RSPCA has a team of 500 frontline officers (classed as key workers) working across England and Wales to deal with emergency-only incidents.  Our officers are wearing protective clothing, regularly handwashing before and after handling animals, avoiding entering premises and asking people to bring animals to the door where appropriate and keeping their vans clean.  They are sanitising their hands whenever they leave their vehicles.

We are also making some more changes to the way our inspectors work in an effort to support our communities.  It is important to note that any changes will be temporary, will be reviewed on a regular basis (especially to take account of levels of absence amongst our staff), do not alter the statutory responsibilities that local authorities have and, crucially, will not take priority over responding to emergency calls we receive.  

Cruelty line (0300 1234 999)

Each year the RSPCA answers more than a million calls from the public concerned about animals. Under the current circumstances, we are urging the public to only contact us in an emergency.  For everything else, the RSPCA website contains a wealth of information.  We are having to ask those calling with emergencies to please be patient, as despite contingency planning, we have fewer people available to answer calls.

Animal centres and hospitals

We have taken the decision to close our animal centres to the public.  Our animal centres will only remain open to treat those animals most in need brought in by our inspectors.  Our hospitals will be open to provide emergency treatment to animals only from the public. Obviously this will have an impact on the numbers of animals we can foster/rehome.  But it is the right thing to do for the good of public health. We very much hope this will be for as short a time as possible so we can get animals to their new forever homes.

Charity shops

Likewise we have closed our charity shops too for the same reasons and recognise the impact this will have on the valuable support we receive through them.

Advice for constituents with animals 

We are asking for your help to get the message out to your communities that people with animals should be prepared.  Please can you pass this information on to local community groups, LRFs, etc.

The UK Government has provided some basic guidance for people with pets.  In addition to this we have provided detailed advice for people who have pets/animals to be prepared and identify family or friends who can care for them if they need to self-isolate or are hospitalised.  For those who cannot then under the Care Act 2014 (in England) and the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014 (in Wales) the local council has a statutory duty to protect their property (pets are classed as property).  We would urge them to contact the Adult Social Care team who are responsible for this, though of course we recognise the pressure they will also be facing at this difficult time.


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