'Hungry' gerbil rescued by armed police in Derby
Armed police officers helped to rescue a peckish gerbil which had been abandoned when its owner went to jail.
Derbyshire Police said an armed response unit attended in order to help gain quick access to the property in Allestree, Derby.
Derby City Police Safer Neighbourhood Team said the animal was "thankfully still alive but very hungry" after being alone for a week.
The gerbil was taken to the vet and the RSPCA was caring for it, police said.
The RSPCA declined to name the ravenous rodent as it still had an owner.
"We requested the help of Derbyshire Police following concerns for a pet inside a property which had been left unattended for some time," a spokesman said.
"We work very closely with the emergency services and are always grateful for their assistance in helping rescue animals. We are always aware their help will be dependent on the resources available at the specific time."
Police said attending the incident had no impact on operational policing.
A Derbyshire Police spokesman said: "Armed officers are routinely called on to provide support in gaining access to properties where there is a cause for concern.
"Had there been a need for them to be deployed elsewhere, officers would have been able to be mobilised quickly.
"In addition, on entering the property, officers found that the gas fire had been left on. This was switched off and the property able to be made safe."