A cat stuck in a chimney, a dog caught in a storm drain and an escaped snake – just some of the animal rescues carried out by the fire service in the past three years.
New figures obtained by the Evening Telegraph show some of the weird and wonderful jobs carried out by firefighters in the county.
Crews rescued 180 animals between April 2009 and January this year.
Cats strayed into trouble most often with 39 rescued, including one hauled from a chimney in Albert Street, Kettering, after up to four hours inside in February in 2010.
The figures also showed 38 ducks were saved and 25 birds.
A total 38 horses were rescued during the period – and one snake.
Chief fire officer Martyn Emberson said the figures did not tell the whole story behind each rescue.
He said: “The numbers and some stories you hear about birds being rescued from trees can sound quite ludicrous.
“But there are clear circumstances behind each one of them.
“As well as fighting fires, ensuring fire safety and attending traffic incidents we are a humanitarian service. The fire authority does have discretionary powers to deal with other types of events such as animals and where appropriate we assist the public as best we can.”
Mr Emberson, however, said he would never put his firefighters’ lives at risk to save an animal.
In December, crews spent several hours freeing a German Shepherd called Bruce who had become stuck in a storm drain while being taken for a walk by his owners in Warmington.
The crews used a heavy duty electric Milwaukee saw, hydraulic cutting kit, shovels and chimney pokes to extricate the animal.
He was released unharmed.
Over the three-year period 47 of the animal rescue incidents were in Northampton.
A total of 26 of them were in Kettering, 18 were in Wellingborough and 12 were in Corby.