An animal in distress - when to call 112?

In emergency situations involving animals, it is useful to remember that you should only call the 112 emergency number if there is a significant threat to public safety or if special equipment or expertise that can be provided by the authorities is required.

  • Animal-related situations to be reported to the police include animal protection offences and public disturbances caused by animals, such as an animal endangering traffic getting lost on a motorway or a major predator being sighted in an urban area.
  • The rescue services should be called when animals classified as property such as farm production animals are in urgent distress and/or a lifting platform or other special equipment is required. Such situations include rescuing an animal from a collapsed building or if an animal has fallen through the ice or down a well.

When should you call the 112 emergency number?

For instance when

  • a cow is stuck in a sludge well
  • a deer animal has fallen on ice 
  • a child has been bitten by an adder
  • a deer animal or horse is running on the motorway
  • a major predator is moving in an urban area

Do not call 112

Do not call 112 when, for example

  • an animal is found dead
  • a one-footed seagull is seen on Market Square
  • a cat refuses to come down from a tree
  • there are apparently orphaned young birds on the ground
  • the animal suffers a seizure