RSPCA hiring for 11 new animal rescue officers across England and Wales

The RSPCA – the country’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity – is recruiting for 11 new animal rescue officers (ARO’s).

The charity’s animal rescue officers are frontline workers who respond to reports of cruelty, neglect and injury, deal with complaints and collect and rescue sick, injured and trapped animals.

ARO’s carry out some of the vital work of the RSPCA and play their part alongside the charity’s inspectors in making a real difference to the lives of animals.

It is an extremely rewarding, but challenging role as animal rescue officers have to deal with difficult situations where they need to stay calm and professional and show great resilience.

The RSPCA is looking to fill 11 vacancies based in Lancashire, Cardiff/South Wales, Greater Manchester, Berkshire, Staffordshire/Derbyshire, the West Midlands and Hampshire.


Successful applicants will attend a four-month training course, which starts on September 11 to help best equip them for the challenges of the role. The training can include learning how to abseil a mountain, swimming 50 metres fully clothed and carrying out water rescue training in preparation for what can be a physically-demanding role.

The recruitment is part of a 24-strong intake of new animal rescue officers.


It is certainly a job where no two days are the same. For example, animal rescue officer Helen Chapman helped rescue a Peregrine falcon trapped on the 48th floor of a skyscraper in Manchester last April. While animal rescue officer Jade Guthrie came to the aid of a pair of parakeets who were abandoned and let out of their cage at a park in Harrow earlier this year.

Animal rescue officer Emmeline Myall helped the fire service after an otter was spotted stuck inside the engine compartment of a parked car in Tadcaster. And animal rescue officer Mat Hawkins investigated the deaths of six rabbits whose mutilated bodies were found at Plumstead Common in February this year.

RSPCA inspectorate Superintendent Simon Osborne said: “We are looking forward to welcoming our next cohort of frontline officers to our team to help investigate welfare concerns and rescue animals across England and Wales.

“Our animal rescue officers alleviate animal suffering by responding to alleged reports of animal cruelty, neglect or injury, dealing with complaints, and collecting and rescuing sick, injured or trapped animals before taking them to a place of safety.

“No two days are ever the same and there’s no better feeling knowing you’ve made a real difference to the lives of animals, and their owners through education and sharing knowledge.

“The role is extremely rewarding, but very challenging at the same time. We are looking to recruit those who can deal with difficult situations, requiring the ability to stay calm, professional and focused, while resilient. Your genuine love for animals and sense of duty will keep you motivated”

The RSPCA wants to hire animal rescue officers from across our diverse communities and so applications are actively encouraged from people of all backgrounds, regardless of age, gender, race, faith, sexual orientation, parental or relationship status.

Applicants – who must be 18 by the time they start the course – need to demonstrate their passion for animal welfare and their dedication to end cruelty and promote kindness.

They do not require previous animal handling experience and the comprehensive ‘Academy’ style training programme will ensure all new starters get the full support and training they need. But to be considered applicants will need to live within a reasonable distance of the vacancy location.

They will also need a full driving licence, be confident swimmers and have attained a level 2 qualification in English Language at GCSE.

All the roles involve working a shift pattern, including some weekends and Bank Holidays, and they are available at:

Blackburn, Preston, Lancaster

Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil

Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport

Slough, Maidenhead

Stafford, Chesterfield/ Derby

Walsall and Birmingham

Winchester and Southampton

Many of the charity’s animal rescue officers are tasked with rescuing and transporting stricken wildlife. Looking after our wildlife is the theme for the RSPCA’s participation in the Big Help Out – the large community volunteering initiative which is marking the King’s Coronation on May 8 .


The RSPCA is urging animal lovers to sign up to become Wildlife Friends and pledge to complete some simple tasks to help wildlife on their doorstep, either on their own, as part of their family or group of friends, or even the wider community. People can volunteer to be a Wildlife Friend here.

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