Could you offer invaluable support to our frontline rescue officers?
RSPCA Cymru is looking to recruit a specialist team of animal rescue volunteers in North Wales.
A new drive to expand its team of dedicated rescue volunteers has been launched by the animal welfare charity – with Animal Rescue Volunteers (ARVs) offering invaluable support on the frontline.
The role includes transferring domestic animals between establishments or from owners to vets and back, collecting wildlife casualties and taking them to vets or rehabilitation centres and also moving kit and equipment to where it’s needed.
Animal rescue volunteers may also be involved in the rescue of wildlife and its release once rehabilitated.
Last year across England and Wales RSPCA’s army of animal rescue volunteers played their part in a combined total of 2,376 animal collections, transfers and releases and devoted 4,020 hours of their time – demonstrating the impact volunteers can have in helping wildlife and other animals.
Those assignments included 462 transfers of animals to RSPCA wildlife centres, 404 trips to approved wildlife centres and 497 visits to veterinary surgeons. The volunteers also released 88 animals back into the wild after they had received care and rehabilitation at centres.
RSPCA chief inspector Kelly Lake said: “Our animal rescue volunteers are our first responders – offering crucial support to our frontline teams so we can help even more animals in need.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding role – providing a lifeline to animals; and even helping release them back to the wild after periods of rehabilitation and care.
“In North Wales, we urgently need more of these superhero first responders to volunteer with us – so we’re really hoping anyone interested in getting up close to our beautiful wildlife and helping domestic pets in need too will apply to join this amazing team.”
North Wales chief inspector Leanne Hardy said the group are looking forward to expanding their volunteering team.
Jobs dealt with by volunteers have included the collection of injured gulls, hedgehogs and birds. These animals in need have been transferred to RSPCA Bryn Y Maen Animal Centre and RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire, or to a local vets.
“In North Wales our volunteers assist us with our many gull collections, as our patch is very coastal,” she said. “We are hugely busy in the summer months and cover a large area across North Wales so we are looking forward to welcoming new volunteers to join our busy team.”
The RSPCA says the role is “a unique opportunity” to help animals on the frontline – to develop skills for future employment in animal welfare.
ARVs will need to be able to drive, and have access to their own vehicle. They will also need their own smartphone – however, all other kit and training will be provided by the RSPCA; and relevant expenses incurred will also be reimbursed.
There are no set hours – and these will be discussed with new applicants at the interview stage – with the RSPCA encouraging applications from people being able to offer only a small amount of time, to those who wish to offer more.
Volunteers will also be kitted out with a professionally fitted face mask due to zoonotic disease risks associated with collecting some species of wildlife.
You can find out more about this unique role here.
The call comes as the RSPCA urges animal lovers to sign up as a ‘Wildlife Friend’ and join thousands of others making a difference as part of the Big Help Out on 8 May – a mass volunteering initiative to mark King Charles III’s Coronation celebrations.
Wildlife Friends includes a choice of simple ideas to help wildlife on the doorstep either on your own, or as part of your family or group of friends, or even the wider community.
For example, volunteers could:
Organise a litter pick
Plant wildlife-friendly plants in gardens and window boxes
Build nest boxes for wild animals
Put food out for hedgehogs or create a hedgehog highway
Get together with their neighbours to start a wildlife project
Join ‘No mow May’ and make a habitat for butterflies, bees and insects in gardens
Recreate wildlife-friendly ideas from RHS Chelsea
Join online social media groups and signpost RSPCA advice about wildlife
Join the RSPCA’s vice president, Steve Backshall, on May 8 for the Big Help Out by signing up to be a Wildlife Friend at www.rspca.org.uk/thebighelpout