Craigslist Key to Cat Rescue


This week in Denver, Matt Slaby was frustrated by multiple agencies telling him “no” when he requested help with rescuing a cat stuck in a tree. In desperation, he turned to Craigslist to get the cat down.

The cat had been stuck in a 60-foot tree in front of his house for five days. Running out of options, he placed an ad on Craigslist, and got the help he needed. It prompted an article in The Denver Post, and cat lover Julia Morgan responded. She called Matt’s Maintenance in Parker, and Matt Steppuhn drove 30 miles in his bucket truck to rescue the stranded cat.

Stepuhn “brought his climbing gear, and it took the climbing gear to get all the way to the top of the tree,” said Morgan. “He did a spectacular job!”

“It wasn’t really that hard, because I’ve been climbing trees professionally for 12 years,” said Steppuhn. “I couldn’t get all the way there with my bucket, so I just climbed out.” Steppuhn said the cat started to back away from him, so he had to grab the kitty quickly.

The blue-eyed Siamese had no tags and nobody has claimed it. The cat was taken to a vet to be treated and neutered, and then will be returned it to one of the neighborhood kids who asked to keep it.

Slaby said he had called Animal Control, Alley Cat Rescue, the Fire Department, and other tree services. He said they either charge a fee or can’t do it.

Denver Fire Department, Public Information Officer Phil Champagne said they don’t necessarily have a written policy against getting cats down from a tree, but it does represent a safety issue for their crews.

“We generally have left it up to an officer’s discretion,” said Champagne. “When we go to help a cat out of a tree. Two things happen, they get spooked and climb higher into the tree or they get combative.”


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