Havering's eyebrow-raising animal rescue incidents revealed by London Fire Brigade

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:00 24 October 2014

This is not a picture of the actual incident

This is not a picture of the actual incident


Stories about cats stuck up trees are often mocked as the mainstay of local journalism - so it turns out we've been neglecting our trade in recent years.

A kitten locked in a washing machine and a dog with its head trapped in a wine rack are among the many animal rescue incidents revealed in records kept by the London Fire Brigade (LFB).

Horses let loose on a Rainham road and a kitten stuck in a reclining chair have also required the assistance of Havering firefighters since 2009.

The data was unearthed by the Recorder under the Freedom of Information Act.

Between January 2009 and October 2013, firefighters in the borough were called out 81 times to save courageous critters.

The records catalogue the bizarre and the baffling – as well as the daring and sometimes distressing – antics of animals.

Dogs and cats are by far the most troublesome, with 19 canine and 23 feline rescues over the period, and rooftops feature almost as much as trees, with firefighters having to retrieve a dog as well as a swan from atop Havering buildings.

There is the eyebrow-raising: “kitten trapped in a locked washing machine” and “person locked in a park with dog”.

There’s also the classic cat-in-tree call, referred to in LFB’s records as “kitten stuck in tree – not trapped”.

The brigade’s call log, which makes a note of time, date and ward, has no record of the cause and outcome of each incident.

A spokesman said: “If you see an animal stuck somewhere, the first port of call should always be the RSPCA, not the emergency services. We will attend if an animal is in significant distress, but when firefighters are out rescuing animals, they are not available to attend other emergencies like fires. If you see an animal trapped or stuck, call the RSPCA first for advice on 0300 1234 999 or go to”

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