The bizarre animal rescues of 2015

Cagney Image copyright PA
Image caption Cagney the Lhasa apso was one of the animals involved in an unusual rescue this year

It will be remembered for many reasons, but 2015 will certainly go down as a vintage year for bizarre animal rescues. BBC News has been taking a look back at some of the most memorable animal mishaps.

From a dog trapped bottom-up in a reclining armchair to the time a cat called Felix got its head stuck in a tin of Whiskas, some of our poor pets have been getting themselves in a pickle.

In October, Cagney the Lhasa apso was stuck for about an hour after getting wedged in an electric reclining armchair at her home in Salford.

"We called the fire service and the RSPCA, and we had three firefighters with tools trying to get her out," her owner Lyn Kirkwood said at the time.

The chair's frame had to be dismantled to free the unfortunate pooch, who seemed "unfazed" after her ordeal.

Image copyright PDSA
Image caption Felix the cat had to have emergency surgery to remove a tin can stuck on his head

And of course it's not just dogs being left shame-faced.

A cat called Felix called quite a stir when he got his head stuck in a Whiskas tin in a calamitous mash-up of cat food brands.

The former stray was scavenging in a bin near his home in Bedworth, Warwickshire in November when he became trapped in the metal can.

"I heard a clatter as Felix jumped over the fence into the garden and when I looked outside, he was sat on the grass with the food can stuck fast on his head," his owner Sam Wellbank told the BBC.

The five-month-old was eventually freed from his tin prison when he was taken to PDSA's Pet Hospital in Coventry.

Image copyright Cambs Fire Service
Image caption Noah had spent almost five hours in the water-filled drain

Freeing a dog from a chair and a cat from a can seems like easy work compared the effort put into rescuing Noah the donkey.

He fell into a 7ft (2m) ditch in Heydon, Cambridgeshire, in August after thieves stole the cover from his field.

It took firefighters more than five hours to winch him out after they had pumped out the ditch and called in a digger.

Noah spent a couple of weeks in an equine hospital before he was "back to his cheeky self".

People who heard about what had happened to him raised more than £2,000 to help care for the stricken donkey.

Image copyright Craig Hardman/National Trust
Image caption The tree proved very popular for cows to stick their heads into

In poor Noah's case, a drop down the drain once its cover had been stolen seemed almost inevitable. But there are other creatures that seem irresistibly drawn to getting themselves stuck.

In July, a cow and a bullock got their heads stuck in the same sycamore tree in Cornwall a few days apart.

During the first episode, a bullock was trapped for about half an hour while staff at Trelissick House chiselled away some branches to release its ear.

A few days later, a cow did exactly the same thing and was again freed by staff.

The tree has since been fenced off to prevent a repeat performance.

Image copyright Leicestershire Fire and Rescue
Image caption Keeta became stuck in a cat flap in an attempted romantic tryst

This year also saw a tale of canine love go badly wrong for a dog in Leicester.

When she spotted a male dog in her owner's garden, Keeta - who was in season - stuck her head through the kitchen cat flap to have a look.

She then tried to free herself and ripped the cat flap off of the door, allowing the other dog to get in.

Owner Nigel Page tried to free Keeta from her cat flap collar but had to call out firefighters to do the job.

Mr Page said he could not be sure if his pooch had managed to consummate her relationship with the male visitor.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption Kitten Oreo's cries could be heard from the ground far below

Some of this year's animal rescues have followed a slightly more traditional pattern, including that of Oreo the kitten.

He spent about 24 hours clinging to the spindly branches at the very top of a tree in Luton in September.

The fire service was called and used an aerial platform to rescue Oreo before returning him safely to his owners.

"Poor Oreo had been trapped up this super-high tree for more than 24 hours and was clearly very scared," RSCPA officer Kate Wright said at the time.

For advice on pet safety and welfare, check the RSPCA or PDSA websites

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