London Fire Brigade urging people not to call 999 for cats up trees

Monday, 9th July 2012

The London Fire Brigade is urging people not to dial 999 for their distressed pets as the service is currently inundated with calls about cats up trees.

Over the past six years, the number of animals rescued by firefighters in the capital has increased by 60 per cent and they are called out to rescue an animal once every 14 hours.

As a result, the service has teamed up with the RSPCA to launch the I'm An Animal, Get Me Out of Here campaign, to remind people that the emergency services should not be the first point of call when an animal is in difficulty.

Ron Dobson, London fire commissioner, 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.

"What's worrying is that when firefighters are out rescuing animals, they're not available to attend real emergencies."

He added that it is time to dispel the myth of firefighters rescuing cats from trees.

Some of the 'emergencies' the London Fire Brigade has been called out to over the past five years include a parrot trapped in its cage, a dog stuck in a wheelchair and a hamster trapped in a disabled lift.