Categories: firefighters

These firefighters will not rescue cats from trees because they don’t deal with animal welfare

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.

Ginger cat in tree. If this was West Yorkshire, he’d stay there! He might want to!

“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.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • It is truly unfortunate, NTM unkind, that they would make this blanket decision. Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with much of this. But when I have had to, I get as high up in the tree as I can with a quilt or quilts. Ensuring that I am safe myself, I make the quilt(s) into as large a ‘platform’ as I can...like a shelf.... and hold it against the tree under where the cat is. I then try to talk it down. It’s always worked for me. They see a safer landing close to where they are, even if they are still far away, and attempt to reach it.

  • It is truly unfortunate, NTM unkind, that they would make this blanket decision. Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with much of this. But when I have had to, I get as high up in the tree as I can with a quilt or quilts. Ensuring that I am safe myself, I make the quilt(s) into as large a ‘platform’ as I can...like a shelf.... and hold it against the tree under where the cat is. I then try to talk it down. It’s always worked for me. They see a safer landing close to where they are, even if they are still far away, and attempt to reach it.

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