Cat saved from derelict building in dramatic rescue

Albert was found at the fire-damaged bingo hall.
Albert was found at the fire-damaged bingo hall.
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A cat trapped in a derelict building for a week has been saved after a dramatic rescue operation involving the Scottish SPCA, fire service and police.

The Scottish SPCA was alerted by the owner of the lost feline when she heard cries coming from a fire-damaged bingo hall on Great Junction Street on Sunday.

Albert with owner Karyn Tracey, Animal Rescue Officer Darren Malcolm and firemen. Picture: Scottish SPCA

Albert with owner Karyn Tracey, Animal Rescue Officer Darren Malcolm and firemen. Picture: Scottish SPCA

The next day police tried to gain entry before the fire and rescue service and Scottish SPCA entered to look for the cat, named Albert.

Animal rescue officer Steph Grant said: “This was a really dramatic rescue which involved everyone working together.

“When Albert didn’t come home last week his owner was very worried as it’s completely out of character.

“On Sunday night she heard his cries coming from inside the building, which is very close to her home, and my colleague went along and managed to give him some food through a small hole in the wall. Albert was clearly ravenous as he grabbed the food from her hand.

Albert was fed through a small hole in the wall. Picture: Scottish SPCA

Albert was fed through a small hole in the wall. Picture: Scottish SPCA

“Once the police had forced entry the following day I went in with fire and rescue officers to help find Albert. It was tough as the building is so dark and the only source of light was our torches. It also didn’t help that Albert is grey in colour and the building is badly fire damaged and extremely dirty.

“Around two hours after we began our search we eventually spotted Albert sitting in an air vent. He was absolutely terrified as well as thin and dehydrated.

“Although he was only spotted on Sunday night, we think it’s highly likely he had been in the building for the entire week given his condition.

“Albert’s owner is absolutely delighted to have him back and has taken him to the vets to be checked over.

“We believe Albert would have died in the building had he not been found as the hole he entered through was too high for him to get back out.

“We would like to thank the police and fire service for their support and assistance during this rescue operation.”