Sunderland, Hartlepool and South Tyneside Branch

It’s been another busy year for our inspectors! Here are some top animal rescues from 2015


Rescue stories

Between January 1 2015 and November 30 2015, the National 24-hour cruelty line received 1,055,825 calls from the public. Some of those callers were given advice or put in touch with alternative agencies, while other reports were investigated by inspectors as possible neglect or cruelty cases, and others led to dramatic animal rescues.

Here are some of the most heartbreaking, heartwarming and dramatic rescues of the year:

Rescued from a recliner

Lhasa Apso stuck in sofa © RSPCA

Lhasa Apso ‘Cagney’ found herself in a tight spot when she got wedged in a reclining chair on the evening of October 29.

RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer David Hatton attended the house in Swinton, Salford, along with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service who cut the little dog out after an hour of being trapped with her legs sticking out.

Luckily, she was freed uninjured and seemed unfazed by the whole drama!

 Abseiling to safety

Our Inspectors will go to any lengths to save an animal in danger. Andy Broadbent and Mike Pugh proved that in August when they abseiled down a sea cliff to rescue a stranded ewe at Trwyn Cilan near Hell’s Mouth Bay, in Abersoch, Wales.

It’s believed she’d been stuck 20-30 meters down for around two weeks before being caught and hoisted back to safety.

Watch the whole drama unfold:

Rescued ewe © RSPCA

Fox rescued by a whisker

Fox stuck in a fence © RSPCA
It wasn’t a good day for one young fox who got his head stuck between two wooden fence panels in Tyneside.

A member of the public spotted the fox, in South Shields, on July 5, and RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Bryan Moffitt attended.

He was worried the fox was dead as he was so still but, luckily, after removing him, it was clear he wasn’t injured.

Bryan then drove him to a nearby field and released him.

Lucky cat!

A driver had a surprise when she arrived home in Stockport following a 30-minute drive from Manchester airport after discovering a cat which had climbed into the engine for the ride!
The cat, who we named Lucky, was removed from under the bonnet on February 20 and was taken to our Warrington Halton and St Helens branch.
He wasn’t microchipped but, luckily for Lucky, his owner Ian Southworth saw him when he was checking news websites online while on holiday in Dubai.
He and his family were reunited with the cat, real name Bubbles, when they returned from holiday and took him home to Cheshire.
Cat rescued from car engine © RSPCA

 Ferret in a fix

Ferret caught in fence © RSPCA
This little ferret found himself in difficulty when he got his body stuck in a metal railing not just once, but twice!

The critter, later named Whoops, got his body trapped in fencing in Ossett, West Yorkshire, on November 10.

RSPCA Inspector Charly Wain and firefighters attended to help the little ferret but it was clear they wouldn’t be able to free him. So they cut the fence and took him to the vets to be carefully removed.

The ferret, thought to be a stray, was lucky to escape the tricky situation without being hurt and was taken in to be rehomed.

Thrown out with the rubbish

It wasn’t the best start to life for a litter of puppies found abandoned in a litter bin. But, luckily for them, we took them in and found them forever homes.

The mastiff-cross pups were found in a bin by children on March 6 in Queensferry, Deeside. The babies were so young some of them still had umbilical cords attached.

They – Brenda, Roxy (now renamed Lady), Willow, Jonny (now known as Kai), Tinker (nicknamed Lula Tink), Spud, and Snippet (now called Buddy) – are now thriving in their new homes.

Watch a video of the puppies when they were first rescued:

Three mastiff-cross puppies © RSPCA


Hedgehog caught in fence © RSPCA
We and fire service came to the aid of a hedgehog who had gorged on a few too many worms and got himself stuck in a gate in Suffolk over the summer.

The hog misjudged his own girth and got himself stuck between the railings of a gate, in Newmarket, on June 14.

A passer-by spotted the prickly porker in a tight spot and called us. We then turned to local firefighters for help to free him. Specialist equipment was used to widen the bars so he could be lifted out safely.

After spending a night in our care to ensure he was unhurt, the hedgehog was returned to the wild the following day.

Fole in a hole

Anna was just a week old when she was found stuck in a big hole, in a field, on May 15.

She was rescued by our Inspectors, and taken to our Millbrook Animal Centre, in Chobham, Surrey.

The skewbald filly was hand-reared alongside her new friend, Elsa, and foal Gerry by staff and is now doing well.

It’s hoped that she will be rehomed in the new year.

Foal in a hole © RSPCA

Moo-ve along

We and local firefighters were called by police to help a heifer who got her head stuck between two trees on a steep bank in Alfreton, Derbyshire, on June 20.

The poor cow was very weak and dehydrated, and was surrounded by four large uncastrated male Limousin bulls.

Jets of water were used to keep the ‘angry bulls’ away and the trees were winched apart to free the cow.

Watch the rescue take place:

Sticky situation

A corn snake had a lucky escape after getting stuck to an adhesive trap in a London home.

The snake – which didn’t belong to the homeowner and is thought to have escaped from a vivarium nearby – had slithered onto the glue board, set in the kitchen of a South Norwood home to catch a mouse, and got stuck fast.

Our Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Rosie Leach attended on October 26 and took the snake to Putney Animal Hospital where he was carefully freed.

ACO Leach said:

We have serious concerns about the use of these traps as they can cause a great deal of suffering to the animals who get caught in them – who are basically left to die a slow, lingering death.

Snake stuck on glue trap © RSPCA