SOUTH Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called out 247 times to help rescue animals last year.

The figures, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show that the service was called out 79 times to rescue trapped animals in South Wales, including 60 times for domestic animals such as cats, dogs, rodents and horses.

There were 75 call-outs recorded to rescue animals from a height, which included 48 to rescue domestic animals, 25 to rescue wild animals such as deer, wildfowl, game, aquatic or exotic animals and two rescues of livestock.

June was the busiest month for animal rescues with more than one a day at 34 incidents recorded.

The fire and rescue service does not record the cost of individual incidents and does not charge for call-outs relating to animal rescues.

Last month, the Argus reported a number of incidents relating to animal rescue call-outs including a horse trapped in a reen in Newport on December 16.

Fire fighters used large animal rescue equipment to haul the 27-year-old animal out of a ditch in St Brides Wentlooge.

Two days later on December 18, fire fighters were called to rescue a sheep in danger of drowning in a culvert in Cwmavon and on December 19, helped a kitten who had been accidentally concreted into a cavity wall following local authority renovations.

Firefighters from Ebbw Vale were called to the scene to help release the kitten at a house in Rhymney.

Figures show that the service was called out 30 times to rescue animals from mud or water last year and 14 animals, all domestic, from below ground.

Four heavy animals were lifted using specialist equipment by fire crews over the year.

Earlier in the year on October 18, firefighters helped rescue a cat that had been stuck up a 40-foot tree in Newport for four days.

The team were called after a RSPCA animal collection officer was notified.

A Newport City Council tree surgeon also helped rescue the cat, which was dehydrated and stressed.

The fire and rescue service was called out the same number of times, 247, in 2013 and 235 times in 2012.