MORE than 2,000 animals have been rescued, treated or cared for across Hampshire during lockdown.

The RSPCA's key workers have responded to 100,000 incidents during lockdown, with 2,724 in Hampshire.

The animal welfare charity’s frontline officers, animal carers and vets have continued to rescue, treat and care for animals in need since the country went into lockdown on March 23.

Between March 24 and August 5, the RSPCA have responded to 2,724 incidents in Hampshire - an average of 20 a day.

Across the UK, the charity has dealt with 442,344 calls and attended 106,676 incidents.

In the county, RSPCA officers were called to Wimborne Junior School in Portsmouth where a fox was found with its head trapped in a plastic bottle.

RSPCA animal collection officer Katie Wood was able to free him. His neck was swollen and he had three deep lacerations on the neck and head so was taken to Stubbington Ark for treatment before being released on July 15.

Dermot Murphy, Chief Inspectorate Officer, 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. 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”

RSPCA animal rescuers were designated key workers by the Government at the beginning of lockdown but the global pandemic has had a huge impact on the charity’s finances.