Fire crews are still needed to help stranded cats from trees in Northumberland, new figures show.
Between April 2017 and March 2018, firefighters in Northumberland were called out 21 times to rescue animals.
The brigade will always leave the dogs or cats if they are called to emergencies.
The RSPCA, who liaise with the fire service about helping animals, said: “We’re grateful to firefighters for their support in completing rescues up and down the country.
“Collaborative working is so important in protecting animal welfare, and sometimes we simply cannot rescue animals from tricky situations – such as from heights or if specialist equipment is needed – without the help of fire crews.
“The RSPCA can request the help of the fire and rescue service but it is entirely up to them whether or not to attend. Some crews use animal rescues for training but emergencies involving people will always take priority.
“In some cases crews attend to minimise the risk of members of the public attempting to carry out rescues themselves and potentially putting themselves in danger.”
Recently released figures from the Home Office show the number of times the Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service were called to non-fire incidents over the last financial year.
As well as rescuing animals, the fire brigade are also occasionally needed to remove objects from people.
Northumberland’s firefighters were called 10 times to do this over the 12 month period.
The data does not give specific details about incidents, however the most common reasons are normally removing stuck wedding rings or handcuffs.
On other occasions people have called 999 after getting pinned in toy cars and toilet seats.
Three years ago the London Fire Brigade released a video warning about the dangers of penis rings, after they were called to remove two sex toys from a man who eventually needed surgery.
The Home Office data also shows firefighters were called out 51 times in cases of flooding, which includes rivers bursting their banks or pipes breaking, and 11 times to rescue people from water.
There were 16 false alarms with good intentions and two malicious false alarms.