Firemen helped 17,000 animals over the period…
In total more than 2,400 cats, 2,180 dogs and 1,700 horses have had to be rescued by firemen. Crews saved 2,090 birds, including 1,244 seagulls, 159 pigeons, 57 swans and 12 parrots.
Twenty-six foxes, 19 squirrels, seven ferrets, seven badgers, ten hamsters, 15 snakes, 11 fish and seven dolphins were also rescued.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance questioned the used of resources, but the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) insisted distressed animals could pose a danger… Distressed people trying to rescue those critters pose a danger to themselves and others.
Anton Phillips, animal rescue specialist at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “If we don’t rescue that animal somebody else will or will try to. I’ve seen people have their arms trapped in drains trying to rescue ducklings and we’ve actually had to dig the road up to get the person out.”
Some rescues were complex, especially those involving large animals, such as horses, stuck in ditches.
Others were more trivial; Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service removed a snail stuck halfway up a wall after being called out by a distressed elderly lady.
Jim Green, an animal rescue specialist, told the BBC: “The cost attributed to sending a couple of blokes down the road to help the lady and to reassure her, that was merited, and the actual problem, the snail, might seem ridiculous but it was that lady they were going to help.”
You got it, Jim. Actually, when I was a kid, I remember my father going next door with a stepladder to rescue a pair of snails on the ceiling that escaped from Mrs. Trecartin’s terrarium. She probably would have called the fire department next – if he wasn’t at hand.