THE RSPCA across Cumbria has had to deal with a rocketing number of call-outs since the beginning of the Coronavirus crisis.

In the month since the lockdown started the animal charity, which has centres in Carlisle, Whitehaven, Barrow and Kendal has dealt with 135 incidents across the county and 21,137 nationwide, an average of 27 per hour since the start of the contagion.

It’s also received 66,000 calls nationally from the public.

In addition it’s helped people in the county with Covid-19 by temporarily taking on their animals, who had noone else to care for them, after they went into hospital with the disease.

In one incident, on April 11, a 3ft-long corn snake had to be removed from Mossbay Road Allotment in Workington.

Animal welfare officer Graham Carter was called to collect the snake which had been trapped under a dustbin lid.

Graham said: “Although it’s quite a shock to find a 3ft-long snake slithering around your allotment, this isn’t actually that uncommon.”

The figures have been released as part of its emergency appeal, launched to keep its rescue teams on the road during the contagion crisis, after funds started to dry up.

Dermot Murphy, chief inspectorate officer at the charity, said: “Despite the lockdown, there are still thousands of animals which need our help.

“As designated key workers, our frontline rescuers are still out and about saving animals in urgent need of care.

“The Coronavirus crisis hasn’t put a stop to animal suffering and these figures show there are still many animals out there that need rescuing.

Our resources are under huge strain and vital funding is needed to keep our rescue teams out on the road.

“We know that this is a difficult time for everyone but we must still be here for animals who are suffering and we are appealing for animal lovers to give whatever they can to help us.”

Since the Government announced the lockdown on March 21, the RSPCA has continued to care for 4,200 animals.

The charity has rescued by more than 1,274 abandoned

animals in need.

RSPCA Animal Hospital teams are carrying out lifesaving operations and giving emergency treatment to animals most in need.

Among the animals which have been rescued by the RSPCA since lockdown started are a stray newborn kitten found with a wound across his body caused by a piece of ligature, rescued from a garden by an officer in Birmingham.

In another incident a dehydrated baby owlet who was found struggling to survive in a Suffolk village.

Anyone who would like to make a donation, or see the work the charity is carrying out during the ongoing crisis go online to: