Animal rescue? ‘Don’t call us’ plea from fire service

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service made more than 200 animal rescues in the last three years, including this horse in Barnsley. The horse was stuck down a steep river bank close to Smithies Lane, Smithies, in March
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service made more than 200 animal rescues in the last three years, including this horse in Barnsley. The horse was stuck down a steep river bank close to Smithies Lane, Smithies, in March
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From a snake trapped in a wall to a kitten stranded in a sewerage pipe - South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service made more than 200 animal rescues over the last three years.

Animal rescue is an established part of the service’s work, with officers receiving special training in an attempt to stop the public getting into danger by attempting to rescue animals threesomes. But it has called for the public to think carefully before calling 999 when they see an animal in distress when other organisations, like the RSPCA, may be more able to help.

Head of emergency response Steve Helps said: “We’re also highlighting the number of animal rescues we attend because, at a time of severe cuts to our Government funding, we question which other agency could step in to tackle these kinds of incident.”

Since 2011, fire crews have rescued 70 dogs, 44 horses and 32 cats, including a six-year-old horse called Romeo, pictured, that was stuck down a steep river bank close to Smithies Lane, Smithies, with seemingly no route of escape, in March.

Firefighters spent two hours freeing the horse, while the RSPCA and a vet kept check of the horse’s welfare.

Crews from Cudworth, Edlington, Aston Park and Tankersley dug away the bank and used harnesses to led the animal to safety.