The RSPCA is marking its 200th birthday during its busiest week and is urging Hertfordshire's residents to join its million-strong movement for animals.

Last year, during its birthday week of June 12-18, the charity received 31,947 calls to its emergency line, more than any other week of the year.

The dedicated rescuers dealt with 5,573 incidents in that week alone, addressing numerous cases of cruelty, neglect, and mistreatment of pets and wild animals.

During that week, 82 of the incidents were in Hertfordshire.

This year, on Watford High Street in January, the RSPCA and firefighters rescued a fox trapped in a reed bed on a frozen pond.

Fortunately, the fox was fit and healthy, and the RSPCA officer released her back into the wild.

Chris Sherwood, RSPCA's chief executive, said: "Our dedicated rescue teams are so busy on the frontline for animals, and as we celebrate our landmark 200th anniversary this week, we're expecting to be as busy as ever.

"Our birthday week was the busiest week of the whole year last year - and we’re proud that, working with the public, we’re continuing to help animals in Hertfordshire and across the country.

“But we know we can't do this alone - and the support of our friends in the animal welfare sector, and the public, is set to be more important than ever as we all look to work together to create a kinder, better world for all animals."

In the whole of 2023, the RSPCA reacted to 4,050 separate incidents within the county.

Now, the animal rescuers are preparing for another busy period as they celebrate two centuries of working alongside the public to improve animal lives.

The volume of calls taken so far this year indicates a more hectic schedule even before the busiest summer months kick-start.

The charity's historic year started on a busy note with 330,415 calls across England and Wales, with rescuers dealing with 116,512 incidents of concern, even before 27 May.

To help the public understand how best to assist an animal in need, the charity has launched a new tool on its website: