Firefighters and animal welfare officers were called upon to make an unusual rescue in Fife after a litter of newborn kittens were discovered high up inside a chimney.
Scottish SPCA officers were alerted to the ‘cat-ernity ward’ location by the cat’s owner who feared the feline had given birth on the roof of their home in Main Street, Kelty.
However it was soon discovered that the five new arrivals were in fact high up inside the chimney stack at the property.
With access to the roof proving a problem for officers, a call to the local fire station was made with firefighters soon at the scene to assist in the rescue.
Kittens discovered inside the chimney
Scottish SPCA senior animal rescue officer Robert Ward said: “Cats normally try to find somewhere safe and private to give birth but we’re not sure why this expectant mother decided a chimney would be better than in the comfort of her own home.
“The owner initially feared the kittens were on the roof but we discovered they were, in fact, inside a chimney stack.
“Thankfully, we were able to call on the assistance of our friends at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who were able to reach the kittens on the roof and safely bring them down to be reunited with their mother and owner.
“We’re so grateful for their help as otherwise we would have had no way to reach them.
“Thankfully, the feline family were none the worse for wear after their dramatic start to life and are now safe and warm inside the house rather than on top of it.”
Firefighters called to assist in the rescue
Commenting on the unusual call out for his crew, Mark Bryce, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service senior officer for Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Fife said: “While the statutory responsibility for animal rescue lies with the Scottish SPCA, we will always attend where there is a risk that a member of the public might put themselves in danger by attempting to affect their own rescue.
“As a humanitarian organisation, SFRS crews use their technical training and expertise as well as specialist equipment to rescue animals.
“I’m pleased we were able to assist in this happy event.”