A top ten of the year’s most unusual animal rescues has been compiled by the RSPCA.
They include a sheep that got her head stuck in a traffic cone and a gull that turned bright orange after falling into a vat of cold curry.
The stories represent just a fraction of the rescues the RSPCA was called out to, but not all have happy endings.
Over the Christmas period alone, from 18 to 27 December, the charity rescued 24,651 animals.
These included 2,417 abandoned creatures.
Juno the puppy
Juno the five-month old schnauzer got her head wedged between railings while on an afternoon walk in Stockport.
The puppy was released by the RSPCA with the help of the fire service after her owner raised the alarm on 23 March.
She was completely uninjured. An RSPCA spokesman said: “Her tail was wagging as soon as we got her free.”
Vecky the snake
A couple in Yorkshire got a surprise when they found a corn snake in their airing cupboard.
The snake had slithered inside a vacuum cleaner by the time RSPCA officer Lucy Green arrived at the home in Boroughbridge on 28 October.
“It was quite a surprise to flip the head of the vacuum cleaner over and see the snake’s little orange head poking out,” she said.
The snake turned out to be a missing pet called Vecky. It was later reunited with his owner.
A horse somehow managed to get all four of her legs stuck over a footbridge in Alfreton in Derbyshire.
A dog walker spotted her with three legs trapped on one side of the bridge and one leg on the other on 27 September.
Following the rescue, the charity said: “The horse is stable and was not seriously injured during the ordeal.”
Maggie May the cat
Tabby cat Maggie May was following her owner down the stairs when she got wedged under a stairlift in Kendal on 5 October.
She was trapped by her stomach and back legs, but RSPCA inspector Chris Towler managed to lift the seat off her using a car jack.
A check-up revealed she was totally unscathed.
A gull was stained bright orange after falling into a vat of cold Tandoori curry in Newport, south Wales, on 2 August.
The RSPCA took him to Vale Wildlife Hospital near Tewkesbury, where he was cleaned up before being released back into the wild.
Strangely, another seagull turned bright orange after falling into a chicken tikka masala, also in south Wales, in June.
The seagull, rescued by workers at the food factory, was nicknamed Gullfrazie on social media.
Cupcake the cat
A Siamese cat was posted 260 miles from Cornwall to West Sussex after climbing into a box of second-hand CDs and DVDs.
Cupcake’s microchip meant she could be reunited with her owner, who had been looking for her for eight days.
Owner Julie Baggott said it was “a miracle” her pet survived the jaunt, which vets said left her dehydrated and scared but otherwise unhurt.
Pet goldfish were rescued twice in one month from the same culvert in Abergavenny – two on 22 March and four more on 30 March.
Inspectors believe they may have been let loose into the water system before being trapped by the entrance to the open drain.
They were all healthy and were later rehomed in an outdoor pond.
The RSPCA was called to reports of a sheep being “trapped”, so was surprised to find a ewe with a traffic cone on her head.
The sheep was spotted at a farm in Chorleywood in Hertfordshire on 4 December.
Inspector Rachel Smith said she had to sneak up on the ewe so she was not scared away.
“I managed to grab the cone and she backed away from me, so she popped right out,” she said.
The sheep was uninjured, the RSPCA said, but probably felt “a little sheepish”.
A podgy toad became stuck – with his bum and back legs sticking in the air – when he tried to squeeze through a gap in garden decking.
RSPCA inspector Jason Finch had to saw the decking to free him, after being called to the garden in Norwich on 20 July.
Mr Finch said: “He was the biggest, fattest toad I have ever seen.”
He added it was “really heart-warming that people were prepared to go the extra mile” by allowing him to cut up their decking to rescue the toad.
Miltank the cow
A Pokemon Go player on the hunt for virtual creatures found a real-life cow stuck in a metal feeder, with her head wedged between the railings.
The gamer called the RSPCA to Wythenshawe Park in Manchester on 27 July.
The cow was released with the help of the fire service and returned to her herd.