Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Emergency, which service please.

We are according to Napoleon supposed to be a nation of shop keepers and animal lovers. Well to be honest he did not say animals lovers but that's the current popular description of us Brits. We care a great deal for our animals and in our case they are treated as if they were our children. 

This is the time of year when we come across young animals who are injured. Usually due to their inexperience.  We sometimes come across animals in trouble due to extreme weather such as flooding. Our love for our pets can be dangerous to us. Hence every year people drown after entering water to rescue a pet. Often with the pet extricating itself and then being the only survivor. Animals are often much more adept at surviving extremes than we are. 

Remember the watchword: If someone falls in the water, entering the water to assist them automatically doubles the number of casualties in the water. Time is of the essence with some injuries. The emergency services can only respond to emergencies when they are called. Don't wait to see how things pan out before you summon help. Get help first and do what you can to help without going into the water yourself.  

But there are going to be times when you will want to help. So if you come across someone in the water, throw them objects that will help them to float. If it is a human in the water dial 999 to summon assistance. Do not ring the published CaRT emergency number, it only creates a delay in getting the correct help.

For certain species of animals, the best course of action is to seek advice from the experts: Typically it would be the RSPB for birds, Bat Conservation Trust for bats and the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust for snakes etc. The Wildlife Hospital Trust (nicknamed Tiggywinkles) is a specialist hospital for sick and injured wild animals and offers a 24-hour emergency advice line for anyone in the UK. The British Divers Marine Life Rescue offer advice on how to help stranded whales, dolphins and seals as well as a hotline for marine species in trouble.

Here are a few helpline numbers for advice.
  • RSPCA (England and Wales) 0300 1234 999
  • USPCA (Northern Ireland) 028 3025 1000
  • Scottish SPCA 03000 999 999
  • Tiggywinkles 01844 292292
  • British Divers Marine Life Rescue 01825 765546
  • Bat Conservation Trust 0845 1300 228
  • Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust 01202 391319

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