Hundreds of animals saved by firefighters in rescue operations

Firefighters have rescued hundreds of animals in recent years.
Firefighters have rescued hundreds of animals in recent years.

Hundreds of animals have been rescued by firefighters during blazes in the last five years.

Cleveland Fire Brigade rescued 186 animals, including 85 pets, 68 livestock and 33 wild animals, including birds, between April 2012 and March 2017, Home Office figures show.

In the same period County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service rescued 273 animals, including 181 pets, 59 livestock and 33 wild animals, including birds.

Across England, there were over 23,000 callouts to save animals over the five-year period - an average of more than 4,500 a year.

Although the data does not state which animals were most commonly rescued, a previous freedom of information request showed that for many fire services, cats stuck up trees remained the most common animal rescue scenario.

Animals being rescued from a height was the most common reason for animal-related callouts in Cleveland, accounting for 27% of cases. In County Durham it accounted for 47%.

Other reasons included animals being trapped or stuck in water or mud, or calls for assistance with lifting heavy animals.

On average, more than five firefighters dealt with each animal rescue. A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that fire services often use the incidents for training purposes.

She said: “The RSPCA works very closely with the emergency services and the charity is always very grateful for any help it receives from them.”