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Animal hospital peppered with fireworks, distressing poorly patients inside

Montage of fireworks outside animal hospital, and one scared resident inside dog-serious
© RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital - Facebook

Staff of a London animal shelter reported no casualties but plenty of scared animals following week-long firebomb attacks on local police by anarchists.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 09/11/2020, 18:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24

Workers at the RSPCA’s Harmsworth animal hospital have been left dazed and frightened after rioters clashed with police in the local area. The attacks took place over the course of the week leading up to Bonfire Night, and continued over the weekend. 

Although none of its staff came to harm, the Society posted on Facebook that scores of animal residents of its hospital were left scared and distressed. 

Disruption and distress

The hospital - which moved from Putney in 2015 – found its new home in Finsbury Park, North London. The original Harmsworth Memorial Animal Hospital, located in Holloway, was built in 1968 using the legacy of Sir Harold Harmsworth. 

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In their post on Friday, an RSPCA spokesperson said of the attack, “Over the last week in particular, we have had a terrible time with gangs of youths clashing with the police right outside our doors."

“Fireworks are being aimed at buildings and police, causing much disruption to our poorly patients, who are safe inside our building, but distraught. It is also hugely upsetting for our staff.”

Dangerous and irresponsible 

Following a recent spate of firework attacks on emergency workers - including those at Finsbury Park - police and other authorities urge the sale of fireworks to all and sundry to be more strictly controlled. John Apter, Chair of the Police Federation has called for tighter legislation.