Pet Gazette is as guilty as any other industry magazine. We love stories of heroic emergency crews rushing to animals’ rescue. However, the London Fire Brigade has made an impassioned plea – it does not want to hear from the owners of kittens stuck in trees.
The organisation is urging people in the capital to think twice before calling 999 when an animal is in need of aid. It currently spends a whopping £13,000 a month on creature-related call outs. It’s hoped that the new policy will reduce the city’s hefty price tag.
In 2014/15 firefighters attended 557 animal rescues. 287 were cat-related. Less than a third included dogs. One of the most memorable featured a fox with its head stuck in a bucket.
The organisation hasn’t left animal-lovers without support. It’s encouraging Londoners to contact the RSPCA to help with emergencies. Just in case any of us haven’t taken the hint, the charity’s phone number is written in large font on the London Fire Brigade’s website.
London Fire Brigade Director of Operations Dave Brown said: “We’ll always be there in an emergency but not all animal rescues need our help. As well as being time consuming, animal rescues cost the taxpayer and I’m sure most people would prefer their money was being spent on training or fire prevention work, than cats up trees.”
So, the next time a chimp is found in a chimney in Tower Hamlets or a snake turns up on the roof of a Camden mosque (and yes, this actually happened) the London Fire Brigade would prefer not to receive a call.