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Dorset and Wiltshire firefighters called to 97 pet rescues last year

Dorset and Wiltshire firefighters called to 97 pet rescues last year

Published by Henrietta Creasey at 5:53am 5th March 2020. (Updated at 5:54am 5th March 2020)

3 minute read

Figures show the emergency service came to the aid of almost hapless pets almost twice a week!

Guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council says crews must be equipped to deal with incidents involving animals in peril, to prevent members of the public putting their lives at risk to save their pets.

Home Office state show Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue (DWFRS) helped 97 pets in 2018-19 in sticky situations.

That works out an average of 1.9 rescues per week.


  • 46 incidents involved rescuing pets from height, such as up trees or on roofs
  • 31 involved pets wedged in tight spots or entangled, such as in fences or drain covers.
Cat up tree Pixabay
Cats often get themselves in sticky situations!


While fire and rescue services encourage people concerned about an animal's welfare to contact the RSPCA first, to avoid calling crews out unnecessarily, the animal rescue charity says the assistance of firefighters is a vital help to their officers.

A spokeswoman said:

"We work closely with fire and rescue services across England and Wales and are incredibly grateful to them for support helping us rescue animals from tricky situations, as well as carrying out their own animal rescues.

"Unfortunately there are many times where it simply isn't safe for us to rescue animals, such as from heights or if specialist equipment and expertise are required, so collaborative working is vital in these situations to save animals.

"In these circumstances, we will sometimes request the help of firefighters but it's up to them if they attend, and emergencies involving people will always take priority."

Pet rescues made up 48% of the 203 animal assistance crews in the two counties dealt with over the year, with the remainder attributed to wild animals (30%) and livestock (22%)

In 2018-19, firefighters from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service attended to:

  • 70 animals trapped or entangled
  • 69 rescues from heights
  • 36 water or mud rescues
  • 9 heavy animals in need of lifting
  • 8 creatures retrieved from below ground
  • 5 harmed or injured animals
  • 6 uncategorised incidents


In June fire fighters were called to help a horse that got stuck in its horsebox in Wilsford near Pewsey

The specialist Animal Rescue Team from Hampshire also attended.

Horse stuck Wilsford June 2019 2 Friends of Hampshire Animal Rescue team
This gelding who got himself in sticky situation was successfully freed.


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