May 24 2013 Latest news:
Max Walters, Reporter
Sunday, August 5, 2012
The borough’s firefighters have been called out 82 times to rescue pets since 2006
A dog wedged in a car seat and a curious cat that found itself lodged in a chimney were just some of the unusual incidents fire crews in Brent were called out for.
One could be forgiven for assuming that the fire engines that tear down the borough’s streets are in hot pursuit of a blaze and rushing to people’s safety.
However, since 2006 Brent’s firefighters have been called 82 times to deal with unusual requests of renegade pets and wild animals.
Other strange incidents across the borough include a fox trapped in between two walls and a bird stuck up a tree.
Across London the brigade has been called out to rescue 620 animals in the last year, an increase of nearly 60 per cent over the last six years.
In fact, they have spent, on average, 14 hours of each day saving trapped animals including 19 pets who had to be rescued from in or behind a washing machine.
In a bid to crack down on the amount of time spent rescuing animals the fire brigade has launched a new scheme, I’m An Animal, Get Me Out of Here.
The campaign, run alongside the RSPCA, aims to remind people to think carefully before dialling 999 when they see an animal in difficulty and instead contact the RSPCA.
Terry Harrington, borough commander for Brent, said they were trying to dispel the myth of firefighters only attending to cats stuck in trees. He said; “If there is a cat up a tree, or an animal stuck anywhere, the first port of call should always be the RSPCA, not the emergency services.
“We’re asking pet owners to keep a close eye on their animals in a bid to avoid some of these situations from happening.”
Klare Kennett from the RSPCA, said: “We’d always advise people to call us in the first instance and if we need help we will call the brigade.
“If you see a cat up a tree, we’d advise you to leave it for 24 hours before calling the RSPCA as they usually manage to get themselves down. After all, when was the last time you saw a cat’s skeleton up a tree?”