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Ricky Gervais backs RSPCA appeal for funds during coronavirus crisis

The charity has seen a slump in fundraising due to the pandemic.

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Ricky Gervais is backing the RSPCA’s fundraising appeal (Ian West/PA)

Ricky Gervais is backing the RSPCA’s fundraising appeal (Ian West/PA)

Ricky Gervais is backing the RSPCA’s fundraising appeal (Ian West/PA)

Ricky Gervais is backing a campaign by the RSPCA to help the charity save animals in London during the coronavirus crisis.

The charity has said it is facing financial strain as the pandemic affects its fundraising income, while the costs of saving, treating and caring for animals continue.

Since the crisis deepened at the beginning of March, the RSPCA animal cruelty line has received nearly 60,000 calls about pets, farm animals, exotic animals and wildlife, including four fox cubs who needed help after their mother was poisoned.

The charity’s rescue centres, hospitals and charity shops have closed to the public due to the crisis so all animals must be cared for by rescue teams.

Gervais said: “It is really important for us all to pull together to help each other at this difficult time and someone needs to be there for animals, too.

“I would urge people to give whatever they can spare at this really difficult time to support the RSPCA so they can stay out on the frontline rescuing the animals who need them most.

“They are facing huge challenges through this crisis, but their amazing staff are committed to being there for animals in danger in any way they can and they can only do it with your help.”

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 and we rely entirely on generous public donations to deliver 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 must still be there for the animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

PA