The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the quintessential animal welfare charity.

The first, oldest, and arguably biggest of the animal welfare charities on the planet, the RSPCA was founded in 1824, and was responsible for the first court case in which a man was trialled for abuse against and animal (in this case, it was a donkey).

In 1840, the charity received its Royal status from Queen Victoria, and the charity has helped to shape and mould the laws of the country regarding animals ever since.

On a day to day basis, the charity helps to save, treat, and re-home animals that are stray, abused, or neglected, and in 2014, they rescued and collected 128,209 animals. In the same year, the RSPCA, investigated 159,831 cruelty complaints.

They have 38 hospitals and clinics across England and Wales to deal with any issue that an animal has when it comes into the care of the charity, and the charity is a leader in microchipping, spaying and neutering animals, all of which help to stem the tide of issues, such as over population of animals, that the charity deal with every day.

The work the charity do is largely pushed forward by volunteer work and donations of cash, supplemented with RSPCA shops and recycled objects to sell, as well as a membership scheme.

The RSPCA do a lot of their work through calls from the public alerting them to possible mistreatment of animals, advise where they can to prevent such mistreatment, and occasionally even prosecute people they feel have acted negligently or abusively towards animals, under acts such as the Animal Welfare Act 2006.