A former estate agent who had to overcome her fear of horses is among those taking part in a new TV series as they train towards a career in animal welfare.
Animal Rescue, a six-part series launching on Channel 4 on Saturday (21 March) at 3.55pm, will follow the RSPCA’s inspector training school class of 2018-19 as they undertake the path to becoming inspectors for the charity.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said the series, narrated by actor Sir Patrick Stewart, aims to give the public an insight into what it is really like working for the charity – and how individuals prepare for the job in England and Wales.
Chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: “These amazing recruits were selected from more than 4,000 applicants to fill just 25 positions. With places on our course more in demand than Oxbridge, it’s a huge achievement just to make it this far.
“But once they’ve made it in, the real work begins and they have to prove they can pass through one of the most challenging courses that exists. Being animal crazy isn’t enough to see them through and our trainees must show they’ve got the compassion, composure and determination to make it out in the field as RSPCA inspectors.”
The series will show the recruits “learning the ropes” at the charity’s headquarters in Horsham, West Sussex, as they make their way through the programme, from legal training to swimming tests, and snake handling to swan catching.
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“The show follows recruits such as Becky Goulding, who quit her successful career as an archaeologist to fulfil her dream of working with animals, and former estate agent Nat Kitchin, who has to learn to overcome her fear of horses as part of the course,” said the spokesman.
David Sumnall, of the series’ production company Middlechild, said only the very best students will make it through.
“They must survive a series of make or break physical tests, a wave of gruelling exams covering every aspect of animal welfare law, and impress their tutors as they work real-life cases, rushing to rescue animals in trouble and helping stamp out cruelty and neglect,” he said.
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