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Last Updated: Wednesday December 16 2009 17:18 GMT

RSPCA warn of hoax call dangers

A seagull

Worry for a seagull that looked sad in the rain was among the silliest calls received by the RSPCA animal charity this year.

Others included reports of a tortoise on a motorway, that turned out to be a deflated football, and a woman asking for help to get a spider out of a sink!

It sounds funny, but the charity says the calls are stopping people with real animal emergencies getting through.

Over the past year, the charity's call centre took more than a million calls.

The charity said its 24-hour advice and cruelty line was designed for reporting serious cases of animal cruelty or emergencies only.

Here's a few of the other random calls the helpline received in 2009...

  • A cat-lover wanting to know why his cat didn't purr
  • Someone who wanted to know if the RSPCA could do anything about the smell coming from the farm they lived next door to
  • And a woman who wanted to reserve a chair she'd seen in the window of an RSPCA charity shop!