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#1 Hum

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 15:37

RSPCA Manchester has revealed a surge in time-wasting calls to their cruelty helpline as the charity release a list of ludicrous reports made by prank callers.

A reported sighting of Bigfoot, teaching a dog the green cross code and a bird sat on a telegraph line were some of the reports made by confused callers.

One person even rang to alert the authority to an animal attack in the 1972 film Call of the Wild starring Charlton Heston which they were watching on TV.

The charity stressed that calls about stubborn cats, mythical creatures and birds on a wire put unnecessary strains on services during the summer.

"For every genuine call from people in Manchester, we also receive a number of time-wasting calls,” an RSPCA spokesperson told MM.

"As a charity, we have enormous pressure on our staff and calls like this could get in the way of saving the life of an animal in dire need.

"We really need the people of Manchester to think before they dial, and if you do need our help please bear with us if it takes a while to get through - as we receive over a million calls a year!"

Other crazed calls included an enquiry of where to buy a bird noise CD from, an annoyed wife whose husband would not get out of bed to take the dog for a walk, and a woman whose cat would not respond to her calls to come in the house.

The number of telephone calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line has risen by a whopping 65% since last January with the charity asking the public to show patience as it prioritises the workload.

Although the number of calls to the helpline increases each year during the summer months, this year has already seen the RSPCA facing an unprecedented demand.

This is at a time when the RSPCA get more calls about dogs in hot cars, animals wounded in airgun incidents or animals dumped in the holidays, all of which must be a top priority for the charity and increase during the summer.

RSPCA chief inspector Dermot Murphy said: “Summer has always seen surges in demand, but like many charities we are facing a big rise in calls at a time when our resources are under most strain.

“Much as we would like to help, we simply haven’t got the staff to personally investigate each and every issue that the public brings to us, so we must prioritise to make sure we get to the animals most in need.

“We would ask all callers to please remain patient and, if asked to wait, to hang on particularly if their calls are urgent.

"It is worth remembering the RSPCA has less than 500 frontline staff for the whole of England and Wales who deal with these calls and investigations and their workload during this time increases dramatically."

To report a genuine concern about an animal, call 0300 1234 999.

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