A sheep getting tangled in a football net, and a chameleon sitting on a doorstep in Lancashire are amongst the RSPCAs top rescues for 2021.

In August, a ewe was left feeling rather 'sheepish' after scoring an 'own goal' and getting tangled in netting in Rossendale.

A homeowner raised the alarm on August 22 and rescuer Vicki McDonald went to lend a hand.

The poor ewe had got herself tangled up in netting from the football goal and had it tangled around her neck.

Thankfully Vicki was able to cut her free, check her over for injuries and release her back to her flock in the neighbouring field.

The RSPCA recommends putting netting away when not in use as it can pose a hazard to animals who can get tangled and seriously injured.

Meanwhile, in September, a man putting his bin out late at night was shocked after finding a chameleon sitting on his door in Preston.

He confined the brightly-coloured reptile to a box and took it to his mum’s house nearby and alerted the RSPCA.

Officer David Hatton went to collect him on September 20 and said: “It certainly isn’t something you expect to see when you are about to open your door - but the man did exactly the right thing in calling us as this beautifully coloured reptile would not have survived without warmth.”

The chameleon - thought to be an escaped pet - was taken into the care of a specialist reptile keeper.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The RSPCA has revealed that throughout 2021, 281,390 incidents were reported to the charity’s frontline teams via its emergency hotline - 71,638 in the North - including lots of animals who got themselves into rather amusing situations.

Luckily, they all had happy endings.

Among the rest of the top rescues of 2021 across the North are:

  • Surpiseeee -  A TV star had a surprise when he was brushing his teeth and spotted a snake slithering out of his toilet. Coronation Street actor Harry Visinoni - who played Seb Franklin in the popular soap - was at home in Hale, Greater Manchester, with his girlfriend, Ellie, when he spotted the snake in the early hours of 9 January.
  • ‘Owl did you get in there?’ - The RSPCA came to the rescue of a tawny owl who fell into the extraction fan in a disused hotel in York, North Yorkshire. Rescuer Leanne Honess-Heather was called to the vacant hotel on 18 January after the owner heard noises coming from the extraction fan.
  • You’ve goat to be kidding - RSPCA and fire officers were called to help a goat who got stuck halfway up a 50m-high cliff edge in a County Durham quarry. Members of the public spotted the stricken animal stranded on the ledge in Raisby Quarry, Coxhoe, on 20 January and raised the alarm. Inspector Terri-Ann Fannon and Newton Aycliffe Fire & Rescue Service launched a rescue mission.
  • Bunny gets bum deal - A wild rabbit needed a helping hand after getting stuck trying to push under a gate. Animal rescue officer Shane Lynn went to a home in North Allertone, North Yorkshire, on 21 February after the bunny was found trapped underneath a wooden fence.
  • Owl funny - A Merseyside couple had a shock when they heard a commotion coming from their living room and found a tawny owl sat on the fireplace. The bird had flown down the chimney, knocked over some of their possessions, smashed a vase and then sat on the mantelpiece and had a snooze
  • Hoppy ending - A bunny who escaped from her hutch while travelling to her new home got stuck inside the van dashboard. She was on her way home to Selby, North Yorkshire, on 7 June with new owner Mark Hyde when he had to brake suddenly and her hutch door flew open
  • Washed up - A woman with a fear of birds called the RSPCA for help after her cat brought in a young bird and left him in the washing machine. 
  • Greedy - A greedy squirrel needed a hand after getting wedged in a birdfeeder in Northwich, Cheshire, on 19 June. Rescuer Caren Goodman-Jones was called after a resident spotted the stricken creature in the neighbour’s garden. He was stuck in the feeder which was hanging from a bird table.
  • Emergency tweetment - A man was driving 200 miles from Scotland to Warrington, in Cheshire, when he realised the engine was making a rather strange purring sound - more like a cheeping. He was shocked to find five baby robins sitting in a nest under the bonnet on 23 June. He took the birds to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre who took them on and reared them to be released back into the wild.
  • Feeling toassssssty - A landlord had a fright when he removed an electric fire from a property he was renovating to find a 4ft-long desert kingsnake behind it. Rescuer Anthony Joynes went to the home in St Helens, Merseyside, on 2 July to help.