Meet the kind-hearted police officer supporting animals in need this Christmas
A police wildlife officer has brought the community together to ensure animals across the North East are cared for this Christmas.
PC Peter Baker gave up his spare time to launch appeal; ‘Operation Santa Paws’ in a bid to support the RSPCA and other animal charities during the festive period.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the fundraising efforts of charities across the UK, and having seen first-hand the crucial work that the RSPCA and similar organisations do, PC Baker wanted to help.
Ater working with colleagues and community groups across the region, PC Baker has received hundreds of donations of animal food, toys and treats that he will deliver to charities and centres across the region.
“This year has been a difficult one with donations and adoption numbers having dwindled, but the reality is that these animals still need to be fed and watered each day.
“The reaction has been amazing with hundreds of packages ready to be delivered already.”
As part of the campaign, PC Baker launched a competition in more than 40 primary schools in the region which tasked pupils with designing a poster themed around the prevention of animal cruelty and neglect.
The success of Operation Santa Paws caps off a memorable year for Southwick-based cop PC Baker, who recently received a British Citizen Award in recognition for his services to the community.
Now in his 17th year with Northumbria Police, PC Baker has worked closely with the RSPCA to secure a number of recent convictions against pet owners who have neglected, mistreated or abused animals in their care.
Thanking PC Baker for his support, Claire McParland, Government relations manager at the RSPCA, said: "We couldn't be more grateful to PC 'Santa Paws' Baker for his wonderful work in collecting much-needed food donations for our animal rescue centres this winter.”