The RSPCA today
Since its humble beginning in 1824 - as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - the RSPCA has worked tirelessly to promote kindness and prevent cruelty to animals.

The RSPCA is a registered charity (no. 219099) that receives no lottery or state aid. Its £82 million annual running costs are funded exclusively by voluntary donations and legacies.

How YOU can help:
. If you know about an animal that is injured or being treated cruelly, call the RSPCA's national 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.
. Campaign for new animal welfare laws.
. Make a donation to the RSPCA to help the Society achieve even more for animals.
. Become a member of the RSPCA and support its work.
. Become a volunteer at your local RSPCA branch and help out with practical animal welfare work, or fundraising.

Action for animals
There are now 323 uniformed RSPCA inspectors and 146 Animal Collection Officers (ACOs) in England and Wales working tirelessly for animals in distress. In 2003 inspectors investigated 105,932 animal cruelty complaints which resulted in 1,829 convictions.

Preventing abuse
The courts are a last resort for inspectors, who prefer to educate rather than prosecute. They watch the treatment of animals in transit, in markets, pet shops, boarding kennels and farms and offer help and advice about their care.

Cruelty casebook
Every 25 seconds someone somewhere in England and Wales dials 0300 1234 999 - the RSPCA's national cruelty and advice line - for help. In 2003 the RSPCA removed 182,570 animals from danger or abuse. Inspectors and ACOs are also an emergency service for injured, trapped, or stranded animals and in 2003 they carried out 11,806 rescues.

Animal care
The RSPCA rehomed 69,787 animals in 2004 - mostly through the Society's network of 175 branches. Branches are separately registered charities operating subject to RSPCA and branch rules. They work for animal welfare locally and many provide services including subsidised veterinary treatment for those in need, neutering and rehoming schemes. Together, branches are responsible for 38 branch-run clinics, 37 animal centres and five animal welfare centres.

The RSPCA (national Society) is responsible for four animal hospitals, three specialist wildlife centres, 15 animal centres and seven clinics throughout England and Wales

All animals
The RSPCA's influence covers the whole range of animal protection. The Society is involved in practical welfare, law enforcement as well as high-profile campaigning and education. It employs veterinary experts and consultants in the care and treatment of farm livestock, wildlife, domestic pets and animals used in research.

Traditions maintained
The RSPCA's law-reforming origins are an important element of its work today. Much UK animal welfare legislation owes its existence to RSPCA campaigning, and the Society works for animal welfare at Westminster through its professional parliamentary lobbyists. Ministers and MPs frequently seek the advice and opinions of the RSPCA on legislative matters.

The RSPCA's reach extends into Europe through Eurogroup for Animal Welfare - a consortium of animal welfare organisations from each EU member state - that campaigns for improvements in animal welfare legislation.

Public eye
RSPCA advertising campaigns, television exposure, direct mail fundraising, promotional videos, magazines, booklets, leaflets and posters keep the Society at the forefront of public awareness about animal welfare.

Next generation
The RSPCA's education service also plays a key role. The education website has a range of National Curriculum-linked resources. Teachers can download lesson plans for primary and secondary pupils and order free photo packs online. Five regional education advisers lead a team of education officers to support teachers. To see if this service is available in your area, contact your local REA

International aid
The RSPCA's overseas fund distributed more than ?100,000 to animal welfare organisations in 18 different countries in 2003. There are more than 200 animal welfare organisations in 65 countries associated to the RSPCA.

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