Small Pets Rescued by RSPCA and Firefighters

Booths FireImage courtesy of Paul Cassells

Picture of the blaze at Booths Garden and Pet Centre.

The RSPCA and firefighters saved scores of pets including chickens, birds, rabbits and guinea pigs when an inferno ravaged Booths Garden and Pet Centre in Oldham, Lancashire. Oldham RSPCA branch manager Mandy Tierney helped in the rescue of around 160 animals after being alerted by text message. “When we got there it was established the animals in the main building had died so it was a case of getting as many out as we could.”

Neighbors witnessed one of the owners of Booth’s Garden and Pet Centre tried in vain to save his beloved animals from the blaze, which ignited around 5.30pm on Friday. It was initially feared that all but three parrots perished in the fire but firefighters discovered that the majority of animals on sale at the centre had survived. The small animals that died in the blaze include rabbits, lizards, birds and tropical fish.

The predominantly wooden complex, owned by the popular Booth family, was seen as a centre where families could enjoy seeing a wide variety of animals. A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire Service said seven engines and an aerial platform were at the scene for most of the evening. The single-storey garden centre was destroyed by the blaze and 40 firefighters spent most of the evening putting out the flames.

The rescued animals were heavily stressed and four baby rabbits were born as their mother was being transported by van to Oldham RSPCA. Seven were born but only four survived – but they are doing well.

The cause of the blaze is still being investigated, but foul play has been ruled out.


If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.

Angela, Editor-in-Chief, GPT

Angela founded Guinea Pig Today and guest writes for CavyMadness. She volunteers with Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue and supports the ROUS Foundation. Her guinea pig, Papua, is the star of WHEK-TV/DT.

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