RSPCA Christmas film tells heartbreaking story of dumped pets

News / Sun 11th Dec 2022 at 10:48am

The RSPCA is inviting people to help mend broken hearts as it launches its Christmas video.

The film named Heart – made in-house and starring the charity’s staff who gave up their own time for filming – features a beautiful, exclusive cover of Blondie’s Heart of Glass by Gabrielle Aplin.

The clip tells the story of an injured and abandoned dog who is helped to safety by an RSPCA rescuer before his life is transformed by love and care.

The video was created by the RSPCA’s small in-house video production team Alan Laxton and Lewis Jones, with help from Lewis’s rescue dog Baby.

They came up with the idea after the charity reported a concerning rise in the number of abandonment and neglect incidents being dealt with by rescuers in recent months. Teams have dealt with a shocking  25% increase in abandonment incidents since the start of the year.

Baby, the doggy star of the film, is a five-year-old golden retriever who was rescued from cruelty by the RSPCA alongside his mum and siblings when he was just a few weeks old.

The film also stars his rescuer, RSPCA animal rescue officer Julie Parsons, who was overjoyed to be reunited with the dog she last saw when he was just a pup she was helping to safety. 

She said: “It was lovely to see Baby again, I was over the moon to see him looking so happy and healthy.

“We see such horrendous cruelty, abuse and neglect. Having the chance to be reunited with an animal you’ve rescued makes it all worthwhile.

“On the frontline, we are so focused on rescuing as many animals as we can, we sometimes don’t have the chance to find out what’s happened to them once they’ve been brought to safety. As such, having the chance to see Baby, and for us both to feature in this year’s Christmas film, was such a treat.”

Singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin, who featured in the John Lewis Christmas film in 2012, singing a version of Power of Love, has spoken of why she wanted to get involved with the charity’s festive film and her love of dogs after the RSPCA worked with BMG on the soundtrack.

She said: “I love animals and have had pets my whole life so it was a no brainer when I was asked to record a song for the RSPCA’s Christmas film. I would do anything for the dogs! I hope the animals love the tune and more importantly hope that families and their beloved pets have the support they need during the cost of living crisis.”

Last winter (start Nov 2021 to end Feb 2022) the RSPCA received 21,098 calls about abandoned and neglected animals in England and Wales. 

This winter the RSPCA is asking the nation to help make sure animals do not pay the price of the cost of living crisis this Christmas. To Join the Winter Rescue and help rescuers be there for the animals in need, please visit the RSPCA website to find out more.

RSPCA broadcast manager Alan Laxton, who oversaw the shoot, said: “We’re so proud to be able to share this film with such a beautiful soundtrack. Our thanks go to BMG, Gabrielle Aplin and Blondie for all helping to make this possible.

“We hope to inspire people to ‘Join the Rescue’ and be there for animals at a time they desperately need our help.

“As the current cost of living crisis engulfs the nation, vulnerable animals risk being overlooked. Sadly we expect to see many more animals abandoned this Christmas.

“We wanted to remind people of the cold reality faced by unwanted pets by sharing the stories of abandonment and neglect faced by those like the dog and cat in our film.

“Our rescue teams will be out in all weathers this winter, rescuing animals from abuse, neglect and suffering. We’re appealing to people to help us make sure animals don’t pay the price of the cost of living crisis this winter.”

Don’t let animals pay the price of the cost of living crisis this Christmas. Join the Christmas Rescue today.

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