ROYAL Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officers have responded to more than 700 animal welfare calls across Cumbria during lockdown - an average of five per day.

Figures from the animal charity revealed frontline officers have been called to 100,000 incidents in the UK since lockdown began on March 23.

An incident involving a stray three foot corn snake at a Workington allotment was one of 743 attended by RSCPA officers in the region.

It comes a time when the charity is feeling the financial pinch of Covid-19 and officers have also been collecting animals from the homes of people who have been admitted to hospital due to the virus.

Chief inspectorate officer, Dermot Murphy said: “We’ve had to quickly and drastically change the way we work during these unprecedented times, from the way we rehome animals to the PPE we wear when responding to calls. But the priority for us during lockdown has been to continue to be there for those animals who need us - while also helping people who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“Now, more than four months into lockdown, we’ve passed a milestone as we responded to our 100,000th incident.”

Mr Murphy added that the pandemic was having a huge impact on the animal charity’s finances and asked for people to donate where they could.

He added: “And our staff are as busy as ever collecting abandoned animals, investigating complaints of cruelty, providing life-saving veterinary treatment to the sick and injured, and finding wonderful new homes for our residents.

“But to continue our vital work and to survive the huge impact this pandemic has had on the economy and, therefore, the charity sector, we really need your help.

“Please donate whatever you can spare at”