Elf 'n' safety? Boy, 15, climbs 60ft tree to save cat stuck for FIVE days. . . after firemen do nothing


Close call: 18-month-old Diesel, right, was stuck up a tree for five days after the local fire brigade refused to rescue him

Once it would have been a simple job for a fire brigade happy to do its bit for the community.
Not any longer. When Diesel the cat refused to come down from a 60ft spruce tree, he was stuck there for five days – because of health and safety rules.
The local fire and rescue service feared its officers would be ‘putting their lives at risk’ if they tried to rescue him.
In the end it was a 15-year-old boy who came to the cat’s aid – without the benefit of the fire brigade’s ladders, safety nets or cranes.
As Diesel’s mews trailed off into silence and his owner feared he would die from dehydration, Kyle Watkinson simply climbed the tree and brought him down yesterday afternoon.

Kyle Watkinson climbed a 60ft tree to save a cat that was stuck for five days because local firefighters 'could be putting their lives at risk' to save it

Kyle, a keen climber, said: ‘It wasn’t hard and it isn’t even the worst tree I have climbed. I was scared for the cat but never for myself.
‘I am happy to have saved Diesel, but would like to send a message to the firefighters and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that they should be helping animals in trouble.
‘They said it was too risky – but I just can’t see how, when I’m a 15-year-old boy and I got up and got the cat down with no bother at all.’
A border dispute between English and Scottish firemen only added to the problem, while an animal welfare charity said it was also unable to help.

The 15-year-old from nearby Chirnside village bravely rescued the cat from the top of a tree. His mum said she would have never put him at risk if she believed he could have hurt himself

Diesel’s owner Adele Harland thanked Kyle, but criticised Lothian and Borders Fire and Rescue for refusing to even attempt to save her 18-month-old cat.
Mrs Harland added: ‘If I had gone out and tied Diesel to a tree the SSPCA would be here quickly enough, wanting to prosecute me for cruelty. But when I ask for help to get him down a tree, they don’t want to know.’
Diesel got stuck 60 feet up the spruce tree last Tuesday evening.

Mrs Harland spent four nights helplessly listening to her cat's terrified cries before the weakened moggie went quiet

Mrs Harland, a nursery worker in the Borders village of Foulden, rang the local fire brigade, but was told it wasn’t its policy to rescue cats from trees. The SSPCA said the same thing.
The Northumberland Fire Service initially agreed to come out, but then said it could not sent a team across the border.
Mrs Harland spent four nights helplessly listening to her cat’s terrified cries before the weakened moggie went quiet. After a tree surgeon tried and failed to reach Diesel, a spokesman for the Borders fire service gave the following statement: ‘The cat has been up nearly a week now.
‘The cat was too high for the tree surgeon to reach and he was not going to put his life at risk by going any further.
‘Similarly, we are not going to put the lives of our firefighters at risk. The SSPCA are of a similar opinion.’

source: dailymail