Cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens and people were rescued by four teams of specially trained RSPCA officers during Storm Desmond.
20 flood trained officers travelling from across England and Wales to join their colleagues in Cumbria and Northumberland to assist the ongoing rescue operation. So far, the teams have assisted with securing the safety of 36 people as well as eight dogs, seven cats, four rabbits and three chickens.
Inspector Ben Strangwood, who has coordinated the RSPCA’s flood response, said: “It has been a huge challenge as the flooding is so widespread across a large geographical area.
“Although the water levels are receding in some areas, elsewhere the water levels are expected to remain quite high which is leaving many roads inaccessible. It is extremely difficult to get around to where we need to be.
“We have received a lot of calls, mainly to help people who have had to leave their animals when they have evacuated their homes. However, we have also had to contend with extremely dangerous conditions and fast flowing water.”
Owners of animals in areas at risk of flooding are advised to move them to higher ground or other areas of safety.
The RSPCA’s full flood advice is available at http://www.rspca.org.uk/