THE RSPCA is set to mark its 200th birthday on its busiest week of the year.

The is charity using its landmark anniversary to issue a rallying call to the people of Cornwall to join a million-strong movement for animals. Last year, across England and Wales, the charity took an astonishing 31,947 calls to its emergency line during its birthday week (June 12 to 18) - more than any other week of the entire year. The charity's rescuers also dealt with 5,573 incidents in that week alone - with its dedicated frontline teams responding to countless pets, wild and other animals subjected to cruelty, neglect and mistreatment.

Some 63 of the incidents dealt with that week were in Cornwall, with the charity dealing with a total of 2,944 separate incidents across the county throughout 2023.

Animal rescuers are now braced for another busy period this year - as they prepare to celebrate 200 years of the RSPCA working with the public to change animals’ lives for the better. It has already been incredibly busy for RSPCA officers throughout their 200th year - with 330,415 calls from across England and Wales received by the charity's emergency line (up to May 27) even before the busiest summer months begin; and rescuers dealing with a whopping 116,512 incidents of concern. The RSPCA launched an appeal for information in April this year after a cat suffered fatal injuries after being caught in a snare in Saltash. RSPCA Inspector Jim Farr, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “There are strict legal conditions on setting certain types of traps and if they are not set in the right way non-target animals, like this cat, can get injured or even killed. “If this happens the person setting the trap could potentially be committing an offence as the trap should be checked daily. “This was a heartbreaking outcome for this cat but serves as a very important reminder of why it’s critical that snares are set and checked correctly if they are to be used at all. We want to see a world where everyone is kind and compassionate to every animal and where indiscriminate contraptions like these are consigned to the past.”

Now the charity is urging people to join its million-strong movement with animals facing “some of the biggest threats in our history” - including the cost of living crisis, the growth of intensive farming and climate change. RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: "Our dedicated rescue teams are so busy on the frontline for animals, and - as we celebrate our landmark 200th anniversary this week - we’re expecting to be as busy as ever. "Our birthday week was the busiest week of the whole year last year - and we’re proud that, working with the public, we’re continuing to help animals in Cornwall and across the country. “But we know we can't do this alone - and the support of our friends in the animal welfare sector, and the public, is set to be more important than ever as we all look to work together to create a kinder, better world for all animals. “To keep creating a better world for every animal, we need more people to take action. That’s why, in our 200th year, we want one million people to join our movement - and to share in our vision for every kind.” June 16 marks two centuries since the animal welfare organisation - then the SPCA - was founded at Old Slaughter's Coffee House in London, by a London vicar, Arthur Broome, and 22 founding members, including the MPs William Wilberforce and Richard Martin. By 1840, Queen Victoria had given permission for the Society to add 'Royal' to its name - and this Royal link was recently maintained with HRH King Charles III confirmed as the charity's new patron. In the 200 years since its formation, the RSPCA has worked to change industries, laws, minds, and animals' lives - and believes working with the public, and education, will be key with animals now facing a raft of new challenges. The charity has launched a new tool on its website to help people understand how they can help an animal in need as quickly as possible.

Chris added: “We’ve launched a new tool on our website, to help the public understand the best and quickest way of helping an animal they think needs help - like those which may be sick, injured, lost, or abandoned. “Whether it’s transferring animals to the vet, sharing advice online, or contacting our rescuers to respond to cruelty and neglect, we can all do our bit for animals. Because a world that is better for animals, is better for us all.” To find out more about how to join the RSPCA’s million-strong movement for animals visit: