Sunderland, Hartlepool and South Tyneside Branch

Tag Archive: vet bills

  1. RSPCA Branch FAQs

    Leave a Comment

    About RSPCA Sunderland, Hartlepool & South Tyneside Branch

    We are an administrative branch of the RSPCA (a small team of three staff, with no frontline employees). Whilst we do not have the facilities to log and respond directly to animal welfare concerns which may require frontline assistance, we can offer to help advise as to the best point of contact for a wide range of situations.
    Our work is community-based, and centres around providing financial support for neutering and microchipping as well as in some cases, high-risk emergencies.
    We also work to provide important signposting information and advice around animal welfare, we create and promote prevention education materials and school resources, and our goal is to have a stronger presence in our local community, with community-based events that help support pet-owners and local animals. This may include training opportunities, clinic days, welfare advice, animal-focussed workshops and talks, school events, and so on. 
    In 2022/23, exciting things are happening for the branch that aim to enable more community outreach so that you can get to know more about how we can support you, and so that you can take part in more accessible animal welfare-related work, opportunities and events. 

    Jump to any of the following by clicking on the question:

      Why can’t my local branch assist with an animal welfare incident?

      As a local branch, we are here to sign-post and offer advice where we are able. This might be referring members of the public to specific sites, numbers, organisations, or to the national helpline – depending on what the concern regards. 

      However, we are a separate charity to the National RSPCA, with our own charity number. Our work is community-based, and includes advice and sign-posting regarding all aspects of animal welfare, including: 

      • Financial aid for neutering and microchipping
      • Emergency funding towards veterinary consultations
      • Support for the RSPCA frontline teams
      • Prevention education: working with schools and local authorities to develop animal welfare education materials for children and young people
      • Community outreach (advice and support around best practices in animal welfare)
      • Vet clinic days (working with local vets to provide lower cost treatments for members of our community)
      • Supporting food banks to provide food and equipment for those with pets who are on a low income
      • Events and fundraising to help raise awareness and to support local animals in need

      Learn more about reporting cruelty to the RSPCA.

      I have found a stray dog, what should I do?

      The RSPCA are unable to assist unless the dog is in urgent need of veterinary treatment, or where the welfare of the dog is clearly at high risk. If this is the case, please call 0300 1234 999.

      In the instance where you have found a stray dog with no obvious illness or injuries, please contact your local Dog Warden. Here is a list if useful numbers:


      • Hartlepool 01429 52 33 33
      • Stockton On Tees 01642 52 65 75
      • Redcar And Cleveland 01642 77 47 74


      • Wear Valley 01388 765555 / Ext 877
      • Derwentside 01207 21 83 11
      • Chester Le Street 01913 71 10 40
      • Durham 01913 78 04 39
      • Easington 01915 27 50 40
      • Teesdale 01833 69 00 00
      • Sedgefield 01388 81 61 66
      • Darlington 01325 38 87 99


      • Dog Warden 01670 627000 and 0345 600 6400

      Tyne And Wear

      • Newcastle Upon Tyne 0191 2116102
      • North Tyneside 0845 200 10 1
      • Gateshead 0191 433 31 31
      • South Tyneside 0191 427 70 00
      • Sunderland 0191 553 1661/1662    out of hours – 0191 520 5550

      Dog Wardens across the country:

      I have found a stray cat, what should I do?

      In some cases, if you spot a cat that seems in good health, even if it is hanging around a fair bit – it is still possible that the cat is someone’s pet. Cats are roaming animals, and they will return to areas where resources are plentiful. This is why we advise that you do not feed visiting cats if they look in good health, as they will learn to return.

      However, cats do occasionally stray, get lost, or require assistance for their health and wellbeing. In these cases, they may need our help. To learn more about cats and ferals, and who to contact, please click here.

      I need to report an animal welfare concern, who do I contact?

      All reports of animal cruelty, neglect, abuse, or abandonment must be reported to the National Helpline. 

      We are an independent, community branch of the RSPCA. We operate in different ways to the National charity, and we do not have any facilities that allow us to log or raise animal welfare concerns with the RSPCA frontline teams (Inspectors and Animal Rescue Officers).

      If you are concerned about the welfare of a pet or farm animal, please call 0300 1234 999.

      If you have a concern about wildlife, please click here.

      Learn more about reporting cruelty to the RSPCA.

      I have lost my pet, can you help?

      If your animal is microchipped and found by a member of the RSPCA, they will be scanned for microchip details and the owner will be contacted.

      All animals that have come into RSPCA care and are categorised as ‘stray’ will be listed on the Animal Search website.

      We also advise that you contact local vets in the area to see if your pet has been handed in as a stray, or taken in to be scanned for a microchip.

      Do you carry out veterinary procedures and treatments?

      No. We are not a veterinary service, we do not have our own clinic, and we do not employ veterinary staff. We work with local, private vets in a number of different ways, including via our voucher scheme for neutering and microchipping. 

      If you are looking for low cost veterinary care, please contact your local PDSA.

      Can I register my pet with the RSPCA?

      No. We do not have a registry for pets, as we do not provide direct animal care. We work with local vets  within our branch area to help assist where people on specific benefits may need financial assistance for neutering and microchipping. 

      If you are looking for low cost veterinary care, please contact your local PDSA.

      Do you offer financial assistance towards vet bills?

      We do not have funding for the cost of vet bills.

      Support may be considered, only in the most urgent cases, where treatment is considered a matter of life or death. In some instances, where an animal has not been seen by a vet at all, but is in urgent need, we can assess on a case by case basis, and may be able to offer a contribution towards an initial vet consultation. 

      We do not have any funding available for vet bills, exploratory procedures, ongoing issues, or where an animal is already under veterinary care.

      We can offer financial assistance towards the cost of neutering and microchipping, where the applicant meets the criteria. To see if you qualify for this service, please see our voucher checklist.

      Do you offer financial assistance towards neutering and microchipping?

      Yes. We can offer financial assistance towards the cost of neutering and microchipping, where the applicant meets the criteria. To see if you qualify for this service, please see our voucher checklist:

      Click here to apply.

      Regarding emergency veterinary funding for my pet – what is considered an emergency?

      We may be able to offer financial assistance for initial emergency treatment if your pet is severely unwell or injured and where, without urgent treatment, there is a clear risk to life.

      I need to rehome my pet – what support can you give?

      The RSPCA is unable to provide a rehoming service where owners are no longer able to look after or keep their animals.

      RSPCA animal boarding sites and facilities are solely for animals who have been brought in as a result of abuse, suffering, cruelty, neglect or abandonment.

      If you need help rehoming your pet, it may be worthwhile conducting an online search for local rehoming or rescue centres who operate a rehoming service for the type of animal you have, for example, Cats Protection or Dogs Trust.

      If you believe your pet’s welfare is at high risk, and you are unable to cope, please call 0300 1234 999.


      What to do if a wild animal needs help.

      For important information on how to appropriately handle wildlife, including a list of those you should NOT attempt to handle, please click here.

      The RSPCA National team receives a call about an animal welfare concern every 30 seconds. During the spring and summer months, calls about wildlife increase considerably. As a branch, we are here to help signpost and share important information across our community that aims to inform people how they can help when they spot a wild animal in need, and when to contact the RSPCA.

      In the Northeast, (at full staff capacity) the RSPCA frontline team consists of 20 members of full time staff (including Animal Rescue Officers and Inspectors), and an additional 7 part time staff. This area spans from the borders of Scotland, down to the borders of North Yorkshire, and across to Haltwhistle. That’s often less than 1 frontline team member for every 123 square miles. 

      Spotted a wild animal in need?

      Here’s some advice as to when you should contact the RSPCA for assistance:

      • Is the animal in a safe place, with no injuries or obvious signs of illness?
        • Yes – leave them be.
        • No – read on.
      • Is the animal on a road and in danger of harm?
        • Yes – please click here
        • No – read on.
      • Is the animal a young bird whose parents are still in sight / feeding it?
        • Yes – leave them be and/or move them to a safer spot, away from roads and in some shade, if possible. Their parents should take care of them whilst they are learning to find their feet/wings.
        • No – read on.
      • Have you found an injured or young and abandoned hedgehog?
        • Yes – please search for your local hedgehog rescue service.
        • No – read on. 
      • Have you found a bat?
        • Yes – please call 0345 1300 228
        • No – read on.

      Please now use the following flowchart to see the best course of action to take:

      There are a number of wildlife rehabilitation services in various local areas.

      An online search should help you locate the best option based on details such as your location, the needs of the animal, and the animal type. Some only have facilities to take in birds, others can offer assistance for small mammals. Contact them directly for more information. Where there is no assistance available, and you believe an animal is in urgent need, please call 0300 1234 999.

      I need help with swooping seagulls and/or deterrents

      Gulls can cause quite an inconvenience at this time of year, as they nest and hatch chicks. They are incredibly protective of their young, and this can often cause problems for locals living close to nesting sites. 

      Unfortunately, unless an animal is in need of urgent help, we are unable to assist in cases where swooping gulls become a problem. Click here to learn more about preventative gull deterrents.

      Learn more about humane deterrents for wildlife.

      I need advice on bees in my home / garden

      If you can live happily with bees as part of your garden, where they are not causing too much disruption, it’s best to leave them alone. Bees are a vital part of the pollination process, making them an essential part of nature.

      If you have a hive in your home, or somewhere that is causing an inconvenience, you may wish to contact the British Beekeepers Association for more information, including humane removal. 

      I need advice on foxes

      I need advice on badgers

      If you have a question that has not been answered here, please email us on