Sunderland, Hartlepool and South Tyneside Branch


Reporting animal welfare or cruelty

Concerned about the welfare of an animal or to report an injured animal / cruelty please telephone the RSPCA National Call Centre 0300 1234 999. Lines are open from 8am-8pm, calls are the same cost as to any UK landline number.

If you would like further details or to report your concerns online please click here.

For stray dogs or stray cats please see below.

Emergency calls / Urgent veterinary treatment

If you have an emergency please contact the RSPCA National Call Centre 0300 1234 999

For enquiries regarding our assisted neutering scheme please contact the office during opening hours.

Find or call a vet

Vet clipping the claws of a guinea pig © Andrew Forsyth / RSPCA Photolibrary

All pets need to be registered with a veterinary practice, where you can take your animal for routine health care and advice, as well as any emergency treatment.

Vet Help Direct is an online guide to help you to decide how quickly you should contact your vet.


If you can’t contact your own vet, find out how you can phone a vet 24 hours a day for advice.

Stray dogs

Your local authority is the only body legally obliged to deal with stray dogs, please see our ‘lost and found’ section for further details.

If you find a stray dog, please contact your local dog wardens.

From 2015 dog wardens in County Durham now come under ‘Neighbourhood Wardens’ . For stray dogs found in the Chester le Street and Easington areas please contact Durham County Council and select option 3.  Please check your local authorities websites for further information.
NB: the below telephone numbers were correct as at January 2015

Area Telephone number
Chester le Street – via Durham County Council
03000 261 000 (option 3)
Easington – via Durham County Council
03000 261 000 (option 3)
Hartlepool 01429 523 333
South Tyneside 0191 427 7000
Sunderland 0191 553 1661

Stray cats

Please see our ‘lost and found’ section for further details.

Lost and found contact list [PDF 20KB] Lost and foundcontact list [PDF 20KB]

Useful Inforgraphic

Dogs die in hot cars Infographic - RSPCA        Click image to enlarge       RSPCA baby bird out of the nest

 What to do with injured wild animals

If you find an injured wild animal, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is. Then contact the RSPCA national centre 0300 1234 999, or take it to a nearby vet or wildlife rehabilitator. If possible, contain the animal before calling – see advice below.


Wild animals can scratch and bite when frightened, particularly if they are injured.
If in doubt, keep a safe distance and call the above number.
Apply common sense when approaching an injured animal:

  • Never lift a wild animal, unless you are sure that you can do so without risk to yourself or others.
  • Wear gloves when handling all wild animals, especially oiled wildlife – pollutants like oil can be hazardous.
  • Keep the animal away from your face.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling an animal.
  • Take care in dangerous locations, such as a busy road. Watch from a distance first to see whether the animal is still alive, call for help if you can’t reach it safely.
  • If you find a whale, dolphin or porpoise on a beach call us or the BDMLR immediately. Keep a safe distance and don’t touch the animal.
  • Never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal and it could be an offence if the animal was legally caught. Stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call us with the location.

Capture and boxing

If it’s safe to catch and handle the animal, then, wearing suitable gloves, quickly place it into a secure cardboard box with ventilation holes, lined with towel or newspaper. Keep the animal quiet and take it to a vet, RSPCA wildlife centre or local wildlife rehabilitator, (but note not all have been inspected by the RSPCA).
It’s often faster to take an animal to a vet yourself as your nearest RSPCA officer may be out of the area attending other calls. If you are unable to transport the animal, call 0300 1234 999.

 Relevant documents