Torrential rain in Britain in recent days has prompted the rescue of dozens of animals from floodwaters by the RSPCA.
The charity took nearly a thousand flood related calls during the wettest time and rescued at least 100 animals.
An RSPCA officer assisted the fire service in rescuing four horses on November 23 which were trapped in a field after the River Trent flooded in South Derbyshire. The horses were up their neck in water, but were successfully removed and led away to safety. On the same day in Leicestershire another four horses were rescued from a flooded field, and Two horses were also retrieved from waist-deep water from a field in Durham last Monday.
Last Tuesday RSPCA officers attended Horsey Farm in Pibbsbury, Langport, Somerset for the second day running to help rescue some calves.
The farmhouse had been flooded under 10 foot high waters which meant the farmers could not get to the young animals to care for and feed them. It is thought they would have starved had RSPCA officers not been able to boat over the water to give them powdered milk and collected them into a trailer.
RSPCA rescue teams in St Asaphs in Wales waded through evacuated residential streets where the waters had risen to chest height to save the lives of a cat and a budgie.
The cat was precariously perched on top of a wardrobe in its owners’ house which had flooded whilst the owners were away. The RSPCA officers took the cat to friends of the owner for safety.
In a neighbouring house, they found a budgie in a cage on a floating kitchen table.
RSPCA inspector Phil Lewis said: “The table was bobbing around the kitchen in between the fridge and the cooker, and there was the budgie in the cage on top.
“The cage door had been left open for the bird to escape, I presume by the owner who had been evacuated by the fire teams that morning and wanted the bird to have an escape. But the bird insisted on staying in the cage as it bobbed around the room.”
In Bradbury, Durham on Wednesday, the North flood rescue team rescued 13 sheep from a flooded field after they were left behind as the water rose. The majority of the flock made it onto higher ground, but about 40 were left stranded on the river bank.
RSPCA inspectors took food over to those which were stranded and then saw the 13 sheep waist deep in water on the other side of the fence. The team removed the fencing to allow the sheep to get onto the dry ground with the other 40 animals.
One sheep had already died when the RSPCA team arrived.