DOGS stuck in holes, cats trapped in charity bins and deer caught up in railings – these are just some of the animals in distress firefighters rescued in the Boston area last year.
Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from The Standard, figures for the animal emergencies involving pets, wildlife and livestock attended by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue in 2011 have been revealed.
Such incidents attended in the Boston area include:
A kitten which went down the toilet and was stuck in the drain being reunited with the owner
Two incidents of deer getting their heads trapped in metal railings
A Yorkshire Terrier getting stuck down a rabbit hole
A horse unable to stand
A cat stuck in a tree for two nights
A cat trapped in a metal charity recycling box
A cat trapped on a roof
Just two weeks ago, crews rescued a spaniel from the drain at Swineshead Bridge after it fell through the ice – but as with all animal rescues, the emergency response was to prevent a human tragedy as much as to save a dog’s life.
“We send crews to this type of incident to provide public/owner safety,” explained Shaun Yates, animal rescue lead with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue.
“In the past, the public have attempted rescues before calling us, unaware of the dangers involved around trapped or distressed animals.
“Our priority is to attend, be it a duck stuck in fishing wire, or a horse trapped in mud. This then allows us to take charge and keep the public safe, along with looking after the welfare of the animal.”
While the image of firefighters rescuing cats from trees is familiar to most – helping horses is their most common call-out in the Boston area.
Shaun said that all animal incidents, even cats in trees, are treated as hazardous and potentially life-threatening.
“At cat up a tree will often panic and can bite through firefighters’ gloves,” said Shaun. “While the potential for people to get trapped underneath a horse that they are trying to get to its feet is quite great.”
He concluded: “While not every job has a happy ending for the animals involved, due to injuries they might have sustained, we work closely with vets and owners to ensure all incidents are resolved safely.”
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