Washington State has trees that can be as much as 100 feet tall. If a cat gets stuck in such a tree, getting her back down can be a problem. Tom Otto and Shaun Sears, who are both cat lovers and professional tree climbers realized this. In 2008, they established Canopy Cat Rescue and took it upon themselves to rescue stranded cats. Since then, they’ve rescued about 2,000 cats.
When Canopy Cat Rescue gets a call, the men will go to the tree. They will use ropes and other gear to help them scale the tree. According to Otto, the hard part isn’t climbing the tree: It’s making friends with a frightened cat. After petting and calming the cat, they will put her in a sack and bring her back down to her anxiously waiting owner. Both men describe their work as “fulfilling.”
Canopy Cat Rescue is based in Woodinville, which is about 20 miles north-east of Seattle. They are a free service that rescues cats in Western Washington. They can sometimes rescue cats from other tall structures like roofs. They cannot, however, climb utility poles because of the electrical hazards and advise people to call their utility company if the cat is stuck on a utility pole.
Otto and Sears will also help stray and lost cats. In such cases, they will use a microchip scanner to try to track down the owner. They also work with several local animal shelters if they can’t locate them.