RSPCA staff went the extra mile - or five - in the snow to treat injured animals.

Vet David Couper spent two and a half hours trudging through the snow to get the five miles to work at the charity's animal centre in West Hatch on Friday.

And deputy manager Anita Clark and animal care assistants Sarah Bussell and Ian Connell bedded down in a meeting room the previous evening to ensure they were there for the morning rounds.

The dedicated trio had the heating on and used sleeping bags and clean dog blankets to stay warm overnight.

But by the morning the door to the outside of their makeshift dormitory had frozen shut so they had to climb through a bathroom window to free the door.

Manager Bel Deering, who lives close to the West Hatch site, said: "The problem was that we had snow and then we had freezing rain so everywhere was icy.

"I think this goes to show the dedication of our staff. We would always urge people to stay safe and never put themselves at risk in these conditions, but they were prepared to stay overnight and go the extra mile to look after the animals here.

"We really do love our job and whatever the weather the animals still need us.

"David did all the treatments he needed to, then he was cleaning out hedgehogs with the rest of us. We all mucked in.

"We made sure the seals had sufficient food so they could keep their strength up and made enrichment for the dogs in the kennels as they couldn’t go outside in those temperatures."

Another member of staff arrived at work on a tractor on Friday, while others had trucks or 4x4s as they worked against the odds to make sure animals were clean and fed.

Currently the RSPCA wildlife centre houses 35 seals, 60 hedgehogs and three swans, as well as a buzzard, sparrowhawk and pigeons among others. The animal centre also looks after dogs, cats, pigs, rabbits and farm birds.