Last Christmas they gave their hearts, and warmth to more than 5,500 animals

RSPCA recieved more than 4500 calls and took in 5500 distressed animals last Christmas. Photo: RSPCA

RSPCA recieved more than 4500 calls and took in 5500 distressed animals last Christmas. Photo: RSPCA - Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA are launching their 2018 Christmas appeal asking for help to provide vital care for neglected, abused and poorly animals in Norfolk.

Christmas 2017 saw the charity receive 4,587 calls in the East of England to its 24-hour cruelty hotline with concerns about animals in distress as well as taking in more than 5,500 animals to give them a warm bed, food, veterinary care and the care and attention they desperately needed.

Many were cared for at its East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King's Lynn.

RSPCA inspectors will brave the elements and rescue all sorts of animals from livestock to domestic pets this festive season.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: 'We would not be able to help the thousands of animals we rescue, re-home and rehabilitate every Christmas without the public's generous support. What people perhaps don't realise is that after each animal is brought to warmth and safety, they sometimes face weeks and months of vital care, whether that is someone to hand-rear a kitten through the night, vital surgery for an abused dog, rehabilitation for an injured gull, or simply a warm bed and food for a neglected or abandoned animal.

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'This Christmas we are asking people to stock the sleigh for the RSPCA, and help us to care for the thousands of animals we know that, sadly, will continue to come through our doors this festive season.'

It costs more than £750,000 on average to run an animal centre for 12 months and this festive season the RSPCA is asking animal lovers to give what they can.

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It says:

£3 could pay for a toy for a pet in their care

£6 could help feed a dog for a week over Christmas

£7 could help keep animals cosy with a warm blanket

£24.50 could help answer and respond to call about an animal in distress and provide a safe bed

£48 could help pay for veterinary care, hydration and medicines

The public can donate this Christmas by stocking the RSPCA's virtual sleigh byt visiting

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