Firefighters in West Yorkshire, UK have made a public announcement on Twitter that they do not deal with issues of animal welfare and therefore they will not rescue cats from trees. They ask people to contact the RSPCA instead.
“We need to keep our focus on preserving life, protecting people and dealing with matters of a criminal nature. There are other organisations that care for animal welfare.”
In turn, the RSPCA advised that people do not rescue cats from trees and that they leave them there and watch and wait.
“Many years of experience have taught us that it’s often better to leave them alone, as an early rescue attempt could chase them higher or cause them to panic and fall.
If it is fair weather and the cat appears healthy, we ask that people monitor the situation. You may find that the cat comes down from the tree or roof on its own after a few hours.
We ask that people call our 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999 immediately if a kitten or young cat is up a tree or the cat appears to be sick or injured in some way.
Comment: the West Yorkshire Fire service have have used unfortunate language. They say that they save lives but only the lives of humans. It appears that they do not consider the lives of animals to be worthwhile saving or they are treating the lives of animals differently to those of humans.
This is surprising to me. It is not as if the firefighters in the UK are busy. In my experience they spend 90% of their time in their fire station doing whatever they do there. Fire stations are being closed in the UK because there are fewer fires. This is because there are better fire security measures in place nowadays.
It is interesting too that having passed the buck to the RSPCA, the RSPCA have in turn passed the buck to the cat’s owner. Although, I would agree that it is wise to watch and wait before jumping in to soon to try and rescue your cat from a tree. They normally come down. You can make matters worse if you try and rescue them. As I said many years ago, how many cats have you seen that have died in a tree? It just doesn’t happen. Although, I totally understand the anxiety of a cat owner who is aware that their cat appears to be stuck in a tree the desire to do something about it.
Source: Yorkshire Evening Post and myself.