England flooding keeps our water teams on high alert as we help move at risk animals
Dedicated call centre staff walked for miles through flooded water to get to work.
Our emergency water rescue teams remain on high alert as flooding continues to be a major problem particularly in parts of Derbyshire and Yorkshire.
60 officers are on standby as almost 136 flood alerts and warnings are issued
The experienced team of around 60 officers - trained to rescue both people and animals from water - are on standby as almost 136 flood alerts and flood warnings were issued across the country on Saturday.
The Government's Flood Information Service issued seven severe flood warnings (all for the River Don in Doncaster South Yorkshire), 53 flood warnings and 76 flood alerts this weekend (Saturday November 9) across England.
Derbyshire-based Inspector Mick Darling, regional co-ordinator of the water rescue team for the North East and North West, said officers have been busy dealing with numerous reports of animals stranded in flooded fields and have been working closely with the fire service. He said:
We have assisted some owners and farmers to move some animals to higher ground.
Due to the large number of calls we're taking we have also been liaising closely with other agencies, such as fire and rescue teams, who are also trained to deal with water rescues involving animals.
We work very closely with the fire service and are always grateful for their help.
I am keeping the specialist water rescue team in this area on standby at the moment as flooding continues to be a problem, particularly in Derbyshire and Yorkshire.
80 birds have been affected by an oil spill
We're currently assessing any environmental impact caused by the flood water upturning a barge, leading to an oil spillage at a canal in Rawmarsh Lane, Rotherham. Officers were sent to the scene and believe 80 birds have been affected by this.
Over the weekend, our team was sent to rescue the oil-covered birds and they were then taken to our Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, where they will be cleaned and then released back into the wild.
Meanwhile, our call centre, based in Dearne Valley, South Yorkshire, have been busy working around-the-clock to deal with reports from concerned members of the public about animals in danger due to the flooding while also liaising with officers on the ground.
Our dedicated team have had to face difficult challenges
Many dedicated staff members had to walk miles through flood waters to get to work on Friday - despite some of them having had their own homes flooded that day. One spokesperson said:
There were some incredible stories demonstrating the commitment of our staff. Some people who had their own homes flooded but made sure they got to work.
Others had to walk for miles in wellies through flood waters. Some team members were unable to get home and so slept on a settee and then did a full shift the following morning.
Another staff member who has a 4 by 4 also drove around collecting any workers who were struggling to get to work. It was a great team effort showing amazing dedication to our work and our cause.
Our Inspector and national water rescue coordinator, Jason Finch, said:
Our officers on the ground have been dealing with many flood-related reports - such as helping move livestock to safety.
[Over the weekend] we also assisted moving 70 hedgehogs from a flooded sanctuary in Retford.
Any members of the public who are concerned for the welfare of animals - whether pets, livestock or wildlife - due to flooding can contact our emergency 24-hour hotline on 0300 1234 999.
Help ensure pets and livestock stay safe in harsh weather conditions
- Plan your escape route and keep contact details of people who can help you move your animals in an emergency.
- Ensure that you can be contacted in an emergency - if you have horses or livestock in a field, attach your contact details to gates so that you can be contacted.
- Make sure you have suitable carriers available for small animals and keep a supply of food in case of evacuation.
- Bring small animals inside and if possible, upstairs. Move food, bedding etc somewhere dry.
- Put important documents in a sealed bag along with a photo of pets in case they get lost.
- Move livestock and horses to high ground and ensure that you have emergency feed and water supplies.
How you can help
To help our dedicated team continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please consider donating today.