Posted: Tue 18th Feb 2020

Updated: Tue 18th Feb

Specialist RSCPA rescue team called to incidents in Wrexham and across Wales in wake of heavy rainfall for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Specialist emergency teams from the RSPCA Cymru been deployed to a number of incidents across Wales due to the flooding devastation caused by the recent heavy rainfall.

Last Monday inspectors were called to Gwersyllt to help a sheep who found herself stranded on a bank by a raging river engorged by floodwater in Storm Ciara.

RSPCA inspector Fred Armstrong and chief inspector Leanne Hardy were able to capture the frightened sheep and take her back across the river to the mainland where they carried her to a local’s stable to dry off.

“The water was extremely strong and the sheep was a long way away so we had to work as a team with one officer wading through the water extremely cautiously while the other held a guide rope,” said Fred.

“We managed to check her over and luckily she was no worse for wear – if a little damp. We located her owner and they came to collect her later in the day to return her to her field.”

Flocks of sheep and horses have been trapped in flooded fields in Llandeilo, Newcastle Emlyn and yesterday specially-trained officers were deployed to St Asaph to rescue 22 stranded sheep.

The sheep were huddled together on a small patch of raised land and upturned tree roots so a team launched a boat to check on them.

Officers checked the condition of the ewes – all heavily in lamb – and made the decision not to attempt a rescue.

Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “We took hay out to the 20 sheep and fed them in situ. As the sheep were all heavily in lamb and it would have been such a treacherous move to get them out of the flooding we decided to leave them where they were.

“As the flood water has begun receding and the farmer was on hand to monitor them, we felt they would be safer left in situ. Had we have started trying to rescue them they would have spooked and likely fled into the water where they may well have drowned.”

RSPCA inspector Emma Williams also offered assistance to emergency crews at Nantgarw – where residents and their pets were evacuated from their homes. Sadly the RSPCA were informed that a dog had drowned there.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Phil Lewis, who is the water rescue coordinator in Wales and for the West & South West said: “Storm Dennis has caused great devastation across Wales and our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected.

“We have received numerous calls across Wales and have been on ‘Full Alert’ status. We have seen prolonged rainfall coming in on top of areas that are already saturated. As a result over the weekend, we’ve been so busy that – as I’m sure people will understand – we have had to prioritise emergency calls.

“All our water rescue teams have been deployed and off-duty staff have come in to help with the emergency. We are there to help where we can but we urge people to be prepared and make sure they’ve made plans for their pets and livestock.”

The RSPCA has lots of advice for all animal owners to ensure their pets and livestock stay safe in harsh weather conditions, such as flooding, on its website. We urge farmers and pet owners to prepare in case of flooding so you can get your animals to safety more easily.

Phil added: “If you live in an area at risk of flooding, make sure you have an escape plan so that you know how to get your animals out of danger. Flood water rises rapidly, so if there is a flood warning don’t hope for the best, act early. If disaster strikes, put your animal flood plan into action. Ensure you can be contacted in an emergency and keep phone numbers of people who can help move your animals.

“Don’t put your own or another life in danger to attempt an animal rescue. In case of flooding, the RSPCA has an experienced team – trained to work in water, to rescue both people and animals – to provide assistance to communities affected by flooding.”

Never put your own life in danger to attempt an animal rescue – you can stay informed by calling floodline on 0845 988 1188. Remember – if you see an animal outside in the cold that looks like it is suffering, take a note of the location, the time and date and call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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