ANIMALS get themselves up to all sorts – and nobody sees that more than the RSPCA’s team of rescuers.

In 2021, 281,390 incidents were reported to the charity’s frontline teams via its emergency hotline – 17,930 in Wales – including helping lots of animals who got themselves into rather a-moo-sing situations. Luckily, they all had happy endings.

To end the year RSPCA Cymru has revealed the animals its rescued from the strangest and most surprising situations in Wales this year.

Ph-ewe!

Rescuers abseiled down steep cliffs in the Rhondda Fach valley, Rhondda Cynon Taf, to help a stranded sheep who’d been spotted by onlookers. RSPCA officers and firefighters from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to Blaenllechau to help the stricken ewe on 25 January.

Rope rescue specialists were deployed and abseiled down the cliff face to reach the sheep.

Speaking about the incident, RSPCA inspector Gemma Black said: “Rescues of sheep like this are notoriously difficult – but we’re just glad the sheep ended up safe, well and off the cliff!”

‘Bizarre’ badger rescue

Two badgers needed help after getting trapped on a ladder in a canal in Torfaen, Gwent.

Officers from the RSPCA and South Wales Fire & Rescue Service were called to the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal in Cwmbran on 5 February after the pair got stuck between metal steps and the wall. Officers Sian Burton and David Milborrow worked with the fire crews to abseil down the canal wall and grab the badgers with a grasper, with nets below as precautions.

The second badger jumped into the water and, after clambering back onto the ladder, was pulled to safety. Both badgers were taken into the care of the RSPCA before being released back to the wild.

Sian said: “Without doubt, this was the most bizarre and unusual day of my 15 years spent on the frontline for animals.”

Teething problems

George the puppy needed help after getting his teeth stuck on the bars of his crate.

Kate Atkins had been crate-training her 11-week-old Westie pup on 15 March when she heard him squealing and found he’d got his top jaw stuck on the bars. She called the fire service and RSPCA officers for help, with bolt-cutters eventually used to cut through the bars.

Inspector Anthony Joynes travelled to Flint, Flintshire, to help. He said: “George was in a real pickle. He was in a very uncomfortable position and his owner had had to hold him for 45 minutes while I rushed down from the Wirral to their home in Flint to help.”

Owner Kate said: “Anthony managed to cut George out quite quickly and I gave him a big cuddle before taking him to the vet for a check up.

“Thankfully, he hadn’t sustained any major injury, other than a few bruises, and I was able to settle him down when we got home, tired and a bit quiet.”

Get meowt!

A cat used up one of her nine lives after getting trapped on a roof under solar panels.

When residents heard loud meowing they spotted the little tortoiseshell peeking out from under the panel fitted to the roof of the house more than 20ft up in Dinas Powys, South Glamorgan, on 29 March.

RSPCA inspector Darren Oakley and South Wales Fire & Rescue went to help. Darren said: |This poor little cat urgently needed rescuing as we think she had been up there on the roof for some time.

“The crew were great and were able to persuade the cat to move across to one side, before securing her and bringing her back down to ground level.

“Once she was safely down, I scanned her microchip, and discovered she lived very close by. It was lucky I did, as Rocket – as we discovered she was called – then shot off.

“But with the details from the microchip, it was easy to find Rocket’s owner’s house – and sure enough, when we arrived at the home, there was the little cat!”

Out on the tiles

Members of the public in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, were shocked to see a deer stuck on a garage roof on 24 June.

It ran alongside some adjacent woodland, so the deer had wandered onto the rooftop from a similar height – but was then unable to walk back up the sloping tiles.

Rescuer Sian Burton and fire and rescue came to the deer’s aid but, in her fright, she jumped and tumbled 10ft to the ground.

Fortunately, she didn’t seem injured and after monitoring her for some time Sian was pleased to watch her trot away.

She said: “We deal with all sorts of animals on rooftops – but this was the first time I’ve ever had a call about a deer! Every day as an animal rescue officer is different, but my task list reached new heights with this job.”

Me-owch!

The RSPCA came to the rescue after a cat got stuck in a tiny gap underneath pipeworks in a top-floor flat in Mold, Flintshire.

Inspector Phil Lewis raced to the scene on 21 November and was able to access the stranded moggy by removing plastic paneling from the wall and pulling the cat to freedom. Fortunately, the ginger cat could immediately be returned to her owners.

Phil said: “This cat had somehow squeezed into the tiniest gap – and was stuck fast.

“We often get calls about curious cats stuck in the smallest spaces imaginable – and I’m just glad we were able to come to this animal’s aid and secure another happy ending.”