Firefighters called to 16 animal rescues in Newham last year

Fire crews rescuing a horse (picture: London Fire Brigade)

Fire crews rescuing a horse (picture: London Fire Brigade) - Credit: LFB

If you see an animal in danger, call the RSPCA rather than 999.

That’s the call from the London Fire Brigade after new figures reveal that animal rescues across the capital cost around £13,000 a month.

The figure is calculated using the £295 rate charged for services such as repeated calls for lift releases and false alarms from automatic systems.

In 2014/15, firefighters went to 557 animal rescues in London,

with more than half –287 calls – involving cats.

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Dogs accounted for less than a third of calls, with 82 instances.

In Newham, the brigade was called to animal-related incidents 16 times.

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These included a call to a fox with a bucket stuck on its head in Stratford in December.

London Fire Brigade’s director of operations, Dave Brown, said: “We always be there in an emergency but not all animal rescues need our help.

“As well as being time consuming, animal rescues cost the tax payer and I’m sure most people would prefer their money was being spent on training or fire prevention work, than cats up trees.”

The brigade advises owners to keep an eye on their pets to avoid them getting into difficulty and that you should never put yourself at risk to save an animal.

An RSPCA spokesman added: “Wherever we can, the RSPCA will aim to rescue an animal or animals without calling on the resources of the Fire and Rescue Service.”.

The charity will call for assistance if necessary, removing the need for owners to do so.

If an animal is injured or in distress please call the RSPCA’s 24 hour helpline on 0300 1234 999 or go to

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