Norwich caller’s report of a mysterious meow features in new RSPCA list of bizarre call-outs
- Credit: RSPCA
A caller from Norwich who contacted the RSPCA about a mysterious meow that turned out to be something entirely different features in a list of some of the funniest calls received by the animal welfare charity.
While the RSPCA receives many heartbreaking calls, some do turn out to be quite bizarre.
To lift the mood on Blue Monday today - which is reportedly the most depressing day of the year - the charity has released a list of some of its most bizarre call-outs.
Among them is a call about a cat stuck in the cavity wall of a home in Norwich in December,
Animal collection officer Antoinette Marie Shearsby was straight onto the case, but with no hole in the wall she was confused as to how the the cat would have become stuck. That is, until it soon became clear the suspicious noise was coming from a computer game in a nearby bedroom!
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Dermot Murphy, assistant director of the RSPCA inspectorate, said: 'We do get some bizarre calls. In one recent case we had a call from someone who was convinced there was a bird stuck in their loft - when the inspector arrived they heard a noise and found a smoke alarm beeping in the sitting room as the battery had gone flat.'
However he highlighted there was also a more serious side to the list.
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'It's important to remember that we are facing a huge rise in calls just at a time when our resources are under the most strain. We know that people mean well and most of these calls are not made in malice, and although we would like to be able to help everyone, we simply haven't got the staff to personally investigate each and every issue that the public brings to us. We must prioritise to make sure we get to the animals most in need.'
The charity's cruelty line receives more than a million calls a year. In 2016, 1,153,744 calls, which is 3% more than the previous year.
The number to call to report animal cruelty or an animal in distress is 0300 1234 999.
For more information about the RSPCA, including how you can support the charity, visit www.rspca.org.ukSOME OF THE OTHER CALLS THAT FEATURE IN THE RSPCA'S BIZARRE CALLS LIST:
No smoke without fire….
In December an RSPCA officer was asked to help find a bird that was stuck in a homeowner's loft in Ossett, West Yorkshire. 'I went into the lady's home and we could hear a regular 'peeping' noise,' said Animal Collection Officer Alan Farr. 'She said she thought it was coming from her roof so we looked and looked. After searching around and unable to find the mystery bird I then went into her front room and found a smoke alarm beeping after the battery had gone flat.'
A very worried woman contacted the RSPCA in November after she spotted a squirrel stuck inside the squirrel-proof bird feeder in her garden, in Manchester. Inspector Vicky Hancox rushed to the scene armed with wire cutters to free the little critter who had squeezed inside the spherical feeder but got himself wedged. Luckily, they managed to free him but he may be off bird seed for a while!
Made of stone…
Animal welfare officer Liz Braidley had a surprise when she responded to a call about an escaped tortoise in a garden in Sheffield in October. 'I went into the lady's garden to try to capture the tortoise and it soon became clear that he wouldn't be giving me the run-around - as he was made of stone!' she said.
Let's go fly a kite!
In September, an officer was called to a building in Enfield, London, to help a bird tangled in an aerial. However, once he arrived at the address, it didn't take long for him to realise that the 'bird' was in fact a kite attached to the aerial - to deter wild birds!
A case of mis-snaken identity
Animal welfare officer Carl Hone was called out in December to catch a stray snake that had been found in the loft of a house in Surrey. The caller was so nervous of snakes, they had rushed back down the ladder and shut the hatch door. When AWO Hone arrived with specialist equipment to deal with the exotic animal, he crept up into the loft only to discover that the snake was in fact, a child's toy.
When RSPCA animal collection officer Tom Goldsmith was called out to a home in Battersea in November, he was pre-warned that a distressed animal was stuck under the floorboards. The homeowner reported that they had no idea what sort of animal it was or how it came to be stuck, but they could hear a 'yowling' noise. ACO Goldsmith arrived, ready to search for the distressed animal. But on entering the room, he soon discovered the source of the strange noise… a rose bush scraping on the outside window.
Inspector Sarah Mason was concerned when she received a job from the RSPCA control centre in October asking her to visit a stray cat in Leeds that was reported to have an open wound under its tail. But before she could even get to the address, the caller rang back to report: 'Sorry, it's actually its bum!'
In November, a kind caller reported an owl that had been sitting on a roof in South Humberside for over four days, and though it was able to turn its head occasionally, it appeared unable to move. Inspector Graeme Petty ventured out to the scene to find the owl in question, only to discover that it was plastic!
Must have been mist-hay-ken
Animal welfare officer Richard Durrant was called about a collapsed horse in Leicester; the caller was unable to see from a distance if the horse was still alive but a number of other horses in the field seemed to be keeping away from it. Rushing to the scene, AWO Durrant was preparing to find the poorly horse, but on arriving all he could see was a pile of old hay, wrapped in twine, lying lifeless on the ground!
RSPCA animal collection officer Lauren Bradshaw rushed to the A54 in Winsford, Cheshire, in September, after reports of a baby crocodile at the side of the road. Despite the snappy response, there was little she could do for the reptile which turned out to be a plastic toy!