Get over Blue Monday with our funniest calls of 2018
Monday (21 January) is claimed to be the worst of the year due to the weather, struggling finances after Christmas and low motivation levels. But, for us, it's business as usual, no matter the weather or date.
So, to bring everyone a little joy on this rather blue day, we're revealing some of our most entertaining calls from last year.
Sting in its tail
Members of the public in Lincolnshire were extremely concerned when they spotted a bright red scorpion sitting on the pavement in a residential street. Our animal collection officer (ACO) Paula Jones responded to a call for help on 22 March and arrived to find the callers had cordoned off the area with cones and were trying to keep the public a safe distance away.
Paula said: "Some types of scorpions are highly venomous making them potentially very dangerous. The callers were really concerned about the public's safety so they used cones to cordon off the area and stood out in the street for two hours to ensure no one went near it."
But when she arrived, Paula quickly realised the scorpion was a fake rubber toy! 'Cecil the scorpion is now my van buddy and keeps me company on the road!' she added.
Our officers were really concerned after receiving reports of a beheaded swan in Cheshire. An upset woman contacted us on 22 February after spotting the bird laid out on the gravel at Europa Boulevard in Westbrook.
Our inspector Claire Fisher went to the scene, she explains: "The woman called us and said the bird was collapsed with the neck stretched out. I met the site manager at Gemini Business Park and we soon realised no veterinary treatment would be necessary - as the bird was a plastic model! He arranged some emergency treatment for the beheaded statue - some silicone and a screw or two - before returning her to her mate! We all had a laugh about this one and, to be honest, were just relieved there wasn't a swan that had suffered an awful death."
What a hoot!
RSPCA officers and firefighters were called in North Yorkshire in August when a member of the public spotted an owl fledgeling trapped on a roof.
ACO Leanne Honess-Heather said: "They called and said they'd seen the bird move slightly but were concerned as it had been in the same spot for two days."
She went to look and was joined by firefighters from Pickering Fire Station. A firefighter climbed up to rescue the bird - which turned out to be a fluffy, heart-shaped grey cushion.
"There were laughs all around but we were all relieved there wasn't a sick animal.
"Goodness knows how that got up there! It turned out the white care label was blowing in the wind and that's what the caller had seen moving."
Dog on a hot tin roof
'There's a dog on the roof - it may be dead' is a call any RSPCA inspector would dread. But thankfully our Inspector Nigel Duguid came away from what could've been a distressing and serious call - with a smile on his face. The dog the caller had spotted on top of a flat roof of the Elim Pentecostal Church in Port Talbot was, in fact, a toy.
Nigel said: "I must admit it was such a relief - as I had been preparing myself for what could've been an extremely distressing and difficult job, and then I realised that it wasn't a dog at all! From a distance, it was difficult to see what was on the roof. It's good to know that there are people out there who are looking out for animals, as our caller had no idea that it wasn't a real dog. We get calls to all sorts of things - all animals of all shapes and sizes and species - but in my 37 years as an RSPCA inspector I have never been called to rescue a cuddly toy before!"
Should have gone to Specsavers
We're often called to help cats stuck up trees. ACO Rachel Edwards was extremely worried when she heard about a cat stuck 80 feet up a tree in Buckinghamshire. She rushed over on 28 November and, using her binoculars, soon spotted the stricken puss at the top of a branch. Rachel said:
The caller was very worried because the cat was swinging from side to side in high winds on a very long, high branch.
But once I was able to look through binoculars and spot the 'cat' myself it was clear to see that it was, in fact, a rather podgy squirrel! He was perfectly happy jumping from branch to branch!
Working every day to help animals in need
Every day is different with our staff responding to heartbreaking calls, taking on hair-raising rescues and, from time-to-time, dealing with laugh-out-loud situations.
Every year we're under more pressure to help animals who desperately need us. If you would like to support the work we do you can donate online.