The RSPCA is celebrating its 200th birthday during what provied to be the busiest week of the year last year.

It has also issued a rallying call to encourage Cornwall residents to join the movement supporting animal welfare - which is now one million strong.

During its birthday week last year, which spans from June 12 to 18, the RSPCA responded to 31,947 calls on its emergency line across England and Wales.

In that same week, they also dealt with 5,573 incidents of cruelty, neglect, or mistreatment of animals.

Out of these, 63 of them were specifically located in Cornwall, where a total of 2,944 separate incidents were handled by the charity throughout 2023.

And 2024 has already been incredibly busy for RSPCA officers - 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, Cornwall. 

RSPCA inspector Jim Farr 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.

"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."

(Image: RSPCA)

The RSPCA is on high alert as it anticipates another busy period this year.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood added: "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.

"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."

(Image: RSPCA)

The charity was originally founded as SPCA on June 16, two centuries ago, by a London vicar, Arthur Broome, along with 22 other founding members.

In 1840, Queen Victoria granted the society the permission to add 'Royal' to its name.

HRH King Charles III has recently been named the charity's new patron.

The RSPCA believes in the power of public awareness and education to combat the host of new challenges animals face in the present day.

In light of this, they have launched a new tool on their website intended to expedite public help for animals in distress.

Mr Sherwood added: "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."

For more information on joining the RSPCA, visit