The RSPCA reveals its most incredible animal rescues

It has been a particularly busy year for the RSPCA and our national call centre has received 26,000 more calls in the first five months of the year, compared to 2013*.

With rescues ranging from the daring and dramatic to the weird and wonderful every day is different for RSPCA inspectors and animal welfare officers.

One that particularly stood out for our inspectors was the rabbit who got stuck up the chimney after it was sucked up by a huge gust of wind.

Another was a deer that was rescued by the RSPCA after getting stuck in a tree at Haydock racecourse in Newton le Willows, Merseyside.

“Every year we receive more than a million calls reporting animals in need. Pets, wildlife and farm animals can all find themselves in need of a little assistance from time to time and when they do, we're here to help,” said Dermot Murphy, from the RSPCA inspectorate.

“We can get called out to all sorts of incidents, from the ordinary to the extraordinary – like the rabbit stuck up a chimney. As a charity, our officers will do everything in their power to rescue the animals most in need and offer them safety and treatment until they can be returned to their owners, rehomed or re-released.”

Incredible rescues in 2014 include:

?     The first few weeks of 2014 saw RSPCA inspectors and wildlife staff battling to save the lives of over 100 orphaned seal pups washed as a result of tidal surges along the Norfolk coast. The seals were nursed back to health at RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre in Norfolk and have since been re-released.

?     In January the RSPCA rescued 18 horses from rising flood waters in Christchurch, Dorset.

?     The RSPCA ‘hopped to it’ to save a wild rabbit left stranded by floodwater in the shadow of Windsor Castle in January.Goldie Rescue 3.jpg

?     In February a ‘jail bird’ Harris Hawk rescued in Purley, Surrey after it made a bid for freedom from his home at Downview Women’s prison 30 miles away.

?     In February a beaver was found trapped under a car while sheltering from bad weather in Cliffsend, near Ramsgate, Kent.

?     The RSPCA rescued 40 fish from flood waters in Dorset in February.

?     In March a Welsh Mountain pony saved from the base of a cliff in Carmarthenshire thanks to the combined efforts of RSPCA, Coastguard and Fire and Rescue Service.

?     In March we rescued a cat that had taken a nap on a warm coach fuel tank and ended up hitching a 100 mile four hour ride from Westward Ho! in Devon to Bristol.

?     In April a muntjac deer was saved from a car grille – and escaped unharmed – in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire.

?     In April we rescued two deer stuck to each other when their antlers got caught in barbed wire in Potten End, Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire.

?     In May, a mother goat and her kids were rescued from a perilous ledge in Wales.

?     In May the RSPCA alongside firefighters in Liskeard, Cornwall rescued a lamb stuck on a ledge 50 ft down in a quarry. Line rescue equipment was used to recover the lamb to safety.

The RSPCA has a long history of rescuing animals in England and Wales and across the world. For example, during World War Two, the RSPCA rescued 256,000 animals during bombing and shelling raids. In recent years, the RSPCA has been heavily involved in international animal rescues such as in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquakes in 2010  and has been the leading animal charity  rescuing animals in the severe weather closer to home – such as during the Cockermouth floods of 2009.

For more information and images about incredible rescues in your region, please contact RSPCA press office on 0300 123 0244. If you would like to help the RSPCA carry out rescues like this, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message)



Notes to editors

?     *In January 2013 our national centre received 76,951 calls and 78,717 in January 2014. In February 2013 we received 67,201 calls and the following year received 79,549. In March 2013 we received 79,930 calls and in March 2014 we received 96,330. In April 2013 we received 93,978 and in April 2014 we received 89,914.

For image information and case studies please ring the press office

RSPCA, Wilberforce Way, Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex RH13 9RS
Press office direct lines: 0300 123 0244/0288  Fax: 0303 123 0099
Duty press officer (evenings and weekends) Tel 08448 222888 and ask for pager number 828825
Email:  Website:

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