Sunday 21 April 2019

Here are the RSPCA’s craziest animal rescues of 2017

It’s been a year of weird and wonderful rescues for the charity.


By Tayloy Heyman, Press Association

It’s been a busy year for the animal charity, and officers across the country have launched a variety of odd, daring and cute rescues this year.

The fox and the graveyard


In June, a fox got herself trapped at the St Mary Magdalene Church in Leamington Spa. Her head had become wedged between two gravestones, leading to a member of the public calling the RSPCA in to help.

Inspector Georgia McCormick unwedged the unfortunate beast from her predicament, and luckily, she wasn’t injured.

The kitten cut free by the fire brigade


This little guy got himself trapped in a communal waste bin in Walsall, West Midlands. Luckily for him, a passer-by heard his cries and ensured he got help – from the RSPCA and the West Midlands fire service.

The black and white kitten, named Dusty, was cut free from the bin and taken to an animal centre to recover.

The tiny bat in a plughole


A bat left a homeowner feeling confused in July when they found it nestled in their bath’s plughole.

At first they thought the creature was a rat and called in RSPCA officer Kirstie Gillard to extract the animal. However, on closer inspection, Gillard discovered a bat about half the size of a thumb hanging from the grid below the plug.

After the bat was freed, he was warmed up using mini hot water bottles. A few days later, he was released back into the wild.

The sheep in a tree


In December, a sheep was helped out of a tricky situation after becoming stuck in a tree in Hawkshaw, Greater Manchester.

“I have never quite seen anything like it,” attending RSPCA inspector Kim Sheriff said. “I must admit, I was left scratching my head wondering why on earth this ewe put her head inside the tree trunk in the first place!

“She was really distressed and was trying desperately to free herself. Goodness knows how long she’d been trapped like that.

“Thankfully, I was able to calm her down and manoeuvre her so I could gently free her from the tree. She wasn’t injured and, unsurprisingly, seemed to be feeling a little sheepish so ran off back to join her flock. This girl had definitely been baaaaa-king up the wrong tree!”

The fox who wanted to go to school


This fox’s mum must have been so worried when he got caught in a fence at Tadworth Primary School, in Surrey in April.

The tiny cub, between three and four weeks old, was cut free from the fence and left to rejoin his family in their den.

A frog in the toilet


An amphibian found a rather unusual place to cool off this August, in the toilet of a homeowner in Ulverston, Cumbria. After trying to remove the frog himself, he called the RSPCA.

Inspector Chris Towler said: “It’s the first time I’ve been called out to deal with a frog in a bog… Wearing a pair of gloves – though not a frogman’s suit – after a few attempts, I managed to gently catch the frog in a container. I checked him over and released him at a nearby canal.”

A crowd-rescue of a stricken seal

It took a fair few agencies to free this seal trapped between rocks and boulders in Port Talbot, Wales. Access to help the seal was extremely difficult and meant discussions with engineering specialists and a joint operation on November 7 between RSPCA Cymru officers, Associated British Ports, Sea-Lift Diving, British Divers’ Marine Life Rescue, RNLI and Neath Port Talbot Council.


The agencies worked together to move boulders weighing over a tonne and get to the seal, christened Miracle by bystanders. After its rescue, Miracle was taken to a wildlife centre in Somerset to recuperate.

The clubbing cat


Cats aren’t exactly know for being sociable animals, but it looks like the aptly nicknamed Disco wanted to buck the trend with a night out on the tiles.

Disco was caught after sneaking into the VIP area of the Atik club in Wrexham, where she hid for a few days behind the seating area. Luckily, she was eventually captured with the help of a trap and examination by the vet showed her to be healthy.

Press Association

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