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Arborists scale towering trees to rescue other people’s stranded cats

This is the incredible moment two arborists navigate their way to the top of a tree canopy to rescue a stranded cat. 

Footage shows brothers-in-law Shaun Sears and Tom Otto, who operate the non- profit organisation Canopy Cat Rescue, scaling the towering tree in Washington to help the feline.

The daring duo, who work on a donations-only basis, estimate that they have rescued more than 2,000 cats since creating their service in 2009.

During the clip, Mr Otto hangs on his harness in a towering fir tree as he tries to move closer to the stranded black and white cat called Stanley. 

Tom Otto navigates his way to the top of the towering tree in Washington and helps the black and white cat called Stanley

The arborist hangs on a harness in a towering fir tree as he tries to locate the stranded feline

The arborist hangs on a harness in a towering fir tree as he tries to locate the stranded feline

He grabs hold of the cat by the scruff of the neck and draws him closer before making his descent

He grabs hold of the cat by the scruff of the neck and draws him closer before making his descent

He climbs an adjacent tree before pulling himself closer to the cat and grabbing the feline by the scruff of the neck.

The rescuer then gives the cat a gentle rub on his head before placing him inside a string bag and making his descent.

The duo later took to social media to write: ‘This was another difficult rescue because Stan was in a hard to access spot in a declining fir. 

‘After climbing an adjacent tree, I tried to pull the trees together with my net and pole, which didn’t work. I ended up pulling myself close enough to pluck Stan off the branch with one hand and then swing back.

‘Besides being a little mad about being scuffed, Stan was mostly happy to be in my arms. We quickly descended.’

Another clip shows one of the men scale a 30ft tree in Maple Valley in search of a feline called Ava.

The cat appears apprehensive at first but soon makes her way over to her rescuer who reassuringly holds her against his chest. 

Meanwhile another scene shows Mr Sears climb to the top of a tree in Maple Valley to rescue a feline called Bella.

The cat sits in the fir tree

The feline in placed in a sting bag

The cat, who was stuck in a fir tree, moves closer to Mr Otto and is then placed in a string bag

Elsewhere another cat called Ava is rescued by the team after finding herself stuck in a tree in Maple Valley

Elsewhere another cat called Ava is rescued by the team after finding herself stuck in a tree in Maple Valley

The feline soon makes her way over to her rescuer who reassuringly holds her against his chest

The feline soon makes her way over to her rescuer who reassuringly holds her against his chest

Mr Sears climbs to the top of a towering tree in Maple Valley to rescue a feline called Bella

Mr Sears climbs to the top of a towering tree in Maple Valley to rescue a feline called Bella 

Mr Sears, who holds a degree in Forest Ecology and Mr Otto, who is also a professional mountain guide, first created Canopy Cat Rescuers in 2009 after discovering how difficult it was for owners to find help for their cats stuck in trees.

On their website they write:  ‘As cat people ourselves, we know how horrible it feels when a cat is missing and then cries for help are heard high up in a tree. 

‘Cold, hungry, scared, tired, and dehydrated; many cats unfortunately suffer each year after being stuck in trees. That is why Canopy Cat Rescue rescues cats—anytime, day or night, in all kinds of weather. 

‘All cats deserve to be rescued and reunited with their loved ones. We work on a donations-only basis, because it’s our mission and passion to rescue any cat stuck in any tree regardless of their families financial situation.’

The men first created Canopy Cat Rescuers in 2009 after finding out how difficult it was for owners to seek help in getting their cats down from trees. Pictured: Shaun Sears (left) and Tom Otto (right)

The men first created Canopy Cat Rescuers in 2009 after finding out how difficult it was for owners to seek help in getting their cats down from trees. Pictured: Shaun Sears (left) and Tom Otto (right)

In 2015, the rescuers starred in a ten-part reality series called Treetop Cat Rescue on Animal Planet.

The show chronicled the men’s adventures as they navigated their way to the top of towering trees to rescue cats at no cost to their owners.

Speaking at the time Mr Otto told The Seattle Times: ‘We’ve both been scratched up and bitten a few times.

‘But for the most part, the cats are friendly and receptive to help when they’re up in the trees.’ 

During 2020, the duo managed to rescue a total number of 665 cats from the Washington area. 


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