THE RSPCA has found rehomed more than 19,000 animals in a decade in Somerset, the charity has revealed as it marks its 200th anniversary.

Back in 1824 founding members met in a London coffee shop determined to change animals’ lives by creating the then SPCA and sparking an animal welfare movement that spread worldwide.

Now the RSPCA enters its landmark year, it wants to inspire a million-strong movement for animals to "create a better world for every animal".

Today Somerset is served by a team of RSPCA rescuers who save animals and investigate cruelty while offering welfare advice and help to pet owners in need.

WATCH: Video of RSPCA history.

The county is also home to independent RSPCA branches - North Somerset, Bath and District, South East Somerset, South West Somerset - which rehabilitate and rehome rescued animals and help animals most in need. The branches are separately registered charities that raise money locally to support their animal welfare work. The county is also home to national RSPCA centre West Hatch.

Many will have endured horrendous suffering, but with the care of dedicated staff and volunteers they will be helped to recover and find loving homes.

The latest figures show that in the 10 years to the end of 2022, new homes have been found for 19,067 animals in the county. Additionally they have helped pet owners in the county by providing:

  • 15,556 neuters (to stop unwanted pregnancies and promote responsible ownership);
  • 9,663 microchips - to help reunite lost pets with their owners.

Nationally the charity has rehomed 405,839 pets in need of a new home since 2013 thanks to its network of 140 branches and animal centres across England and Wales.

During that time 615,000 animals have been patients at the charity’s hospitals for anything from life-saving operations to welfare treatments and 1.7million vet treatments have been carried out.

Animal neglect and abandonment is sadly at a three-year high. In 2023, the RSPCA received 72,050 reports about animal abandonment and neglect - higher than in the three previous years.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, said: “We have even more animals in need of help coming into our care - but at the same time rehoming has been declining sharply, meaning thousands fewer rescue pets are being adopted and our branches and centres are full to bursting.

“We are also faced with increased bills and less donations due to the cost of living crisis, which is one of the biggest challenges facing animal welfare right now - and this economic hardship is continuing into our 200th anniversary year.

“But we are determined to rise to the challenge and help animals and pet owners who need us more than ever. That’s why we’re currently asking supporters to Join the Winter Rescue by donating to help our rescue teams reach the thousands of animals who desperately need them.

“Animals are now facing bigger challenges than ever as a result of factory farming, climate change, war and a cost of living crisis. In our 200th year we want to inspire one million people to join our movement to improve animals' lives.

“We’ve been changing industries, laws, minds, and animals' lives for 200 years. Together, there are actions, big and small, we can take to create a better world for every animal.”

To find out how to join the million-strong movement for animals visit