By Orla O’Callaghan, AA Press Office.
Over the years, rescuing a distressed pup or a tetchy tabby has become as much a part of the job description for an AA Patrolman as has salvaging a worn-out engine. For among the hundreds of traditional calls received by our AA Rescue Centre, Patrols are often faced with problems of the furry kind.
Scooping a kitten out from under a car’s hood, discovering half-eaten pipes courtesy of a ravenous rat, and battling a canine and central locking button is all in a day’s work.
Among the more bizarre incidents logged by our Rescue Centre within the last year was the Member who made a frantic call to our rescue agents, worried he would not receive his delivery of 30 puppies due to a damaged motor. Another humdinger is the female caller who broke down while carting her pups to a dog show in Wicklow, distraught that her dogs might not make it in time to scoop the top prize.
However, it’s not just failing engines or punctured tyres that prompt Members to call us for help – mischievous dogs play a starring role, too.
One notable incident last year involved a dog, who, upon realising that the driver had stepped out of the car, pounced on the central lock button trapping himself and an unsuspecting child inside. Making quite the tag team, both the dog and child thwarted our Patrol of the Year, Lar Byrne’s initial efforts to get in by swiping against the rod he was using to unlock the doors. Thankfully a few tasty doggy treats dropped through the window worked magic.
And despite dogs featuring in a massive 350 call-outs in 2014, our Patrols are often faced with plenty of displaced birds, cats, and rodents. Like the time one arrived on the scene to be met with a disgruntled driver and 20 chickens stuffed in the back of a broken-down van, late for their appearance at a Poultry Fair two miles away.
Rodents posed problems for Members too last year. Chewing through metal pipes, tucking into some dog nuts while concealed in a car’s boot, and claiming squatter’s rights of a member’s van worth €65K are just some of the cases we logged.
Although they’re regarded as aloof explorers, cats were the cause of just three incidents last year. Clearly aspiring for the finer things in life, one tiny kitten caused a stir when she became stuck in the suspension of a jeep. She was quickly freed upon being doused in grease, before scampering off.
It’s not all doom and gloom for our AA Patrols though, with many on the receiving end of some rather unusual compensatory offers – namely one motorist, so happy with the service received, that he immediately produced a live chicken as a tip! As they say, if it ain’t chickens, it’s feathers. (We’re not even sorry.)
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