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RSPCA launches missions to save animals from Storm Christoph flooding

Emily Chudy, PA
·2-min read

Animals including horses, cats, chickens and dogs were rescued from flooding as part of the RSPCA’s efforts to help animals in the aftermath of Storm Christoph.

The animal welfare charity said it had received a total of 43 calls on Wednesday and Thursday as many homes were flooded in the north of England.

Pepper the dog and cats Bandit, Smokey and Socks were rescued from one woman’s home in Warrington, where police said around 100 people were evacuated.

An elderly Akita dog named Caesar was also saved from a property in the town.

Dog Pepper is rescued in Warrington (RSPCA)
Dog Pepper is rescued in Warrington (RSPCA)

“We’ve been busy responding to emergency calls today and have been sending officers out to assess incidents all over the country, from Devon to Surrey, Gloucestershire to Manchester, Cheshire to Gwynedd,” RSPCA inspector and water rescue coordinator Jason Finch said.

“We’ve also been called about all sorts of animals including horses, cattle, chickens and dogs.

“We send a local officer to assess the scene and determine whether the animals are at immediate risk and, thankfully, they’re often able to offer advice to owners or work with members of the public to trace owners who can move their animals to higher ground.

“In other situations, we may ask local people to monitor the situation and contact us if the water rises, or we may launch the boat or wade out to check on the animals and provide food.

“In some circumstances, we have to launch rescue missions if animals’ lives are at risk.”

The RSPCA team wade through floodwater (RSPCA)
The RSPCA team wade through floodwater (RSPCA)

At midday on Friday, there were 139 flood warnings and 126 less serious flood alerts in place in England, and three flood warnings and 12 flood alerts in Wales.

Care home residents were among those evacuated due to floods in several areas across the North West and Wales.

Mr Finch said: “Our teams aren’t just there to rescue animals, they’re also trained to assist other agencies and to help rescue people when necessary.

“We’re part of Defra’s National Flood Response Team and have around 35 inflatable boats and 65 specialist officers who have been trained and equipped to deal with flood-stricken animals and help during major incidents.”