News

Big increase in animals rescued by fire brigade

There have been 31 animal rescue incidents in Barnet this year, including 16 cats, six foxes, a squirrel and a deer
By The Student View

Credit - London Fire Brigade
Credit – London Fire Brigade

The local fire service has rescued 31 animals in Barnet so far this year at a notional cost to the taxpayer of £11,900.

Data from the London Fire Brigade, analysed by students from Mill Hill County High School with media literacy charity The Student View, shows that between January and September 2022 there were 31 animal rescue incidents in Barnet, including 16 cats, six foxes, a squirrel and a deer.

This is a 19% increase on the same period of time in 2021, and more than double the number of incidents in the same period in 2019.

In the entire year of 2021, 36 animals were rescued in Barnet by the London Fire Brigade, compared to just 21 rescued in 2019. Each rescue is estimated to cost £350 to £450, depending on how long it takes, and how many responders are needed.

“While we can’t give a definite reason for an increase in this type of call, it could be partly due to people spending more time outdoors during and going on more walks during lockdown – who have spotted these animals in distress and called 999,” a London Fire Brigade spokesperson told The Student View.

“We’re also aware of a spike in people getting pets during the pandemic so this could be another reason for the increase.”

In 2022 so far, half of the rescues in Barnet have been for cats, while six were foxes, and five were birds. In May, firefighters in Barnet helped rescue a deer trapped in some fencing, and in April they were called to a block of flats in Colindale to help a squirrel that had got its tail stuck in a trap.

Across all of London, the London Fire Brigade has rescued over 800 animals so far this year: primarily cats, dogs and birds, but also eight horses, two snakes and a ferret that was stuck inside a chimney.

Across London, Barnet is the eighth-highest borough when it comes to the numbers of animals rescued. Tower Hamlets tops the list with 41 animals already rescued this year.

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