These Cat-Loving Rescuers Climb Into Trees To Save Stuck Kitties

Is your cat stuck in a tree? Don't call the fire department. Call Canopy Cat Rescue (if you live in western Washington).

That's right, there's an organization dedicated to rescuing cats who are stuck in trees. You may not think there's a need for such a service but think again. Canopy Cat Rescue rescues an average of 400 cats per year.

This year, they're on pace to rescue 475.

Canopy Cat Rescue cofounder Shaun rescuing a cat
Shaun rescues a grateful cat.
credit: Canopy Cat Rescue

Canopy Cat Rescue is a truly unique organization. It was co-founded by Tom Otto and Shaun Sears, both certified arborists as well as cat lovers. Both founders have cats, and Tom has had to help his own cat, Agnes, down from a tree on one occasion.

The two founded Canopy Cat Rescue in 2009, after realizing how difficult it was for people to find help for a cat stuck high in a tree. Contrary to what old cartoons have taught us, you don't want to rely on the fire department if your cat is stuck in a tree. I know this because I asked Shaun about the deal with fire departments. "If it's a small town department and a very small tree, they might help," Shaun told me, "but for the most part ... they tend to reserve their time for human emergencies."

That's where Canopy Cat Rescue comes in. Because they want to help as many cats and people as possible, the organization doesn't charge a fee for their service. That's right, they'll rescue your cat for free. They do accept donations, though.

And their generosity doesn't end there. Shaun told me that on some days, they've driven hundreds of miles to rescue cats, sometimes even in the middle of the night.

On one particularly busy day, they performed six rescues. "We both really love cats," he told me, "so it's easy to go out in the middle of the night when someone calls and needs help."

If CCR sounds familiar, it might be because they had their own show on Animal Planet in 2015. It was called Treetop Cat Rescue, and according to _The Oregonian_, it was "the best show ever made about rescuing cats from treetops." If you never got to see the show, I highly recommend watching the video footage of their daring cat rescues on their Facebook page.

CCR has rescued over 2000 cats since they officially started their organization in 2009, and they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

I'll leave you with this quote from Shaun: "Never seen a cat skeleton in a tree? We are why!"