Stock the Sleigh: RSPCA’s new scheme to tackle animal abandonment this winter.


This year, the RSCPA has launched a festive appeal calling for people to ‘Stock the Sleigh’ and help the abandoned animals that the charity cares for over this busy festive period.

The RSPCA received more than 3,500 calls about animal cruelty last winter in the West Midlands and has claimed that Christmas Day was its busiest time in five years.

Last December, there were more than 61,000 calls coming through to the charity’s cruelty line, up by more than 5,000 the previous year.

A graphic of the number of animal cruelty incidents reported to the RSCPA during the Christmas period of 2018.

“Some animals can spend weeks, months, and sometimes years in our care receiving the treatment and rehabilitation they need, which can cause a strain on the charity’s facilities,” said Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer for the RSPCA.

“Rescue work doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas.

Marvos, a rescue cat at the RSPCA looking for a home.

“We know that animals need our help all-year round and our officers are out in all weathers helping save pets from abuse and neglect, and rescuing wildlife who may be injured or in need of assistance.”

Murphy stressed the importance of buying a household pet at the correct time to us and said: “It [Christmas] is a bad time to bring a new pet into the household because what you want to do with a new pet is get them used to a routine and get them accustomed to a household.

“Of course, bringing them into a house at a time when the house is full can present challenges, especially when you get into the new year and people go back to work and school.

“The RSPCA really doesn’t recommend buying a new pet for Christmas.”

Sargent, another rescue cat looking for a home at the RSPCA

Mr. Murphy claims that the RSPCA are expecting to take in more than 10,000 animals this winter, meaning that officers, vets and animal care staff are braced for another busy festive period.

Murphy continued: “We can’t do this on our own – we rely on our generous supporters to help the many animals who come into our care this Christmas in urgent need whether it is for veterinary care, medicine, food or a safe, comfortable and warm bed.

“We are asking animal lovers to Stock the Sleigh for the RSPCA and help us to care for these animals in desperate need this winter.” 

To help deliver vital supplies to thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned animals left out in the cold this Christmas, visit:

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