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Bromley's bizarre animal rescue calls to firefighters
DOGS stuck in the loo and a cat in a tree are just two of the incidents involving animals which firefighters in Bromley have been called to.
In fact there have been 117 such animal rescues in the borough since 2006.
Last year the London Fire Brigade was called out to rescue 620 animals across the capital - a 60 per cent increase on the 389 rescues in 2006.
This means fire crews rescue an animal every 14 hours.
Incidents in Bromley in recent years include a dog trapped in a child's swing, a dog trapped in a bathroom, a cat up a tree, a dog trapped in its lead and two dogs stuck in a toilet.
The brigade is today launching its first ever animal rescue campaign - I'm An Animal, Get Me Out of Here - to remind people that the fire brigade might not be the first port of call whenever an animal is in difficulty.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said: "We want to dispel the old stereotype about firefighters rescuing cats from trees, our crews are highly trained emergency service personnel. If there is a cat up a tree, or an animal stuck anywhere, the first port of call should always be the RSPCA, not the emergency services.
"We’re asking pet owners to keep a close eye on their animals in a bid to avoid some of these situations from happening. What’s worrying is that when firefighters are out rescuing animals, they’re then not available to attend real emergencies.
"Each animal rescue costs money and in these tough financial times, I can’t imagine many people would want their taxes being spent on some of the animal rescues we’ve highlighted today.
"That said, we don’t want people putting themselves at risk to save an animal and will always attend if there’s a genuine emergency."
Klare Kennett, spokesperson for the RSPCA, said: "We’d always advise people to call us in the first instance and if we need help we will call the fire brigade.
"If you see a cat up a tree, we’d advise you leave it for twenty four hours before calling the RSPCA as they usually manage to get themselves down. After all, when was the last time you saw a cat’s skeleton up a tree?"