Skip to comments.Phoenix officer forbids neighbor to get cat, PD come to help
Posted on 12/30/2008 9:57:06 AM PST by Fawn
PHOENIX, AZ -- Brutis the cat is back home with his owner after going through a bit of a pickle. He had been stuck in a neighbor's tree for nine days, according to the owner.
And the cat's owner says a police officer may have been partly to blame.
The cat got away from his owner, Michael, last Sunday at a home near 12th Street and Bell Road. When Michael finally tracked Brutis down, he was stuck in the branches, two stories in the air, on his neighbor's property.
The neighbor is a Phoenix police officer.
Michael had tried to get the cat out with no luck. Animal Control told him they don't handle cats due to limited resources.
On Christmas morning, the Humane Society tried to rescue Brutis but said its ladders were not tall enough to reach him.
They also suggested Michael leave food and water at the base of the tree, something Michael said he couldn't do because his police officer neighbor would not let him back on the property.
"He said he wouldn't let us go back there and try and rescue the cat," Michael said.
Michael said the officer told him he was concerned that if someone got hurt while trying to get the cat on his property, he would be liable.
"He said no because of insurance," explained Michael.
A Phoenix Police spokesperson said the officer did what he could to help the cat.
Sgt. Tommy Thompson said the officer followed the direction of the Humane Society, taking his dog inside for a day, hoping the cat would come down on it's own.
He said the Humane Society called the officer an "angel" who did all he could.
The Humane Society also told the officer they could not rescue the cat safely, according to Thompson.
However, another non-profit said on Monday they made an attempt to get Brutis out of the tree.
Toni Smith and Terry Toman are with Citizens for North Phoenix Strays.
"There's some friction here between these neighbors and I said I could care less about the people I just want to go up and get the cat," said Smith.
Smith and Toman said they chose to go behind the home on a public sidewalk and lean a 25-foot ladder against his back wall.
In this way, they figured they were not on his property.
Just as they were about to get the cat, Smith said, "This guy comes barreling out of his house, flashed his gun and his badge, and started screaming and freaking out."
Toman added, "It's a little overkill".
ABC15 tried to speak with the officer to get his side of the story, but he said to call police.
The Phoenix Police Department said their officer had a right to defend his property.
They added that there was no way the officer could have known whether Smith and Toman were intruders or not.
It seems like I just have to sit here and watch my cat starve to death or freeze to death, Michael said.
Both Smith and Toman said they were willing to sign a waiver guaranteeing they would not sue the officer or hold him liable if they should hurt themselves while rescuing Brutis.
Its just a cat in a tree, why cant we just go there and get the cat and move on, Smith said.
Late Tuesday morning, Michael said police officers arrived at the home and rescued the cat using a ladder. It's unclear who's property they did it from.
Sgt. Thompson said Phoenix Police don't normally rescue cats from trees, but said calls to the Police Chief's office prompted the move to get the cat down.
Brutis is now safe and doing well -- and out of the tree.
Blog editor's note #2: While cats usually do come down, if the cat has been up there for days, it's already quite hungry and it's not likely to find its way down without help.
> Cats are prone to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) when they don't eat for several days. Lacking food, the cat's body starts sending fat cells to the liver to process into lipoproteins for fuel. Cats' livers are not terribly efficient at processing fat, and much of the fat is stored in the liver cells. Left untreated, eventually the liver fails and the cat dies.
> In cases where cats have starved to death before figuring out how to come down, there wouldn't be skeletons in trees, because when the cat dies, it's no longer able to hold onto the tree.
“Michael said the officer told him he was concerned that if someone got hurt while trying to get the cat on his property, he would be liable.”
The officer was 100% correct. Any private individual, organization or group that got hurt on his property could sue him for everything he’s got if they fall out of the tree and break their necks.
And you know that’s exactly what their lawyer would do no matter how “nice” they seemed up front.
Let the guv handle it, they can’t sue you for performing a public function on your proprty.
Happy New Year to you too....I’m not bored at work but I do miss Rushbo.....Hope all is well....
I just use Havahart traps.
Why didn’t the cop try to get the cat himself instead of acting like a crazy man flashing a gun. I believe that’s against the law....even for a maniac cop.
They work good for ‘possums, too.
I say if it's roaming, it's a wild animal and it's subject to being shot on sight. If it's a pet, keep it indoors or contained on your own property. One or the other.
<FLAME RESISTANT SUIT ON>
Semi-Official Semi-Legal Notice: This is only a test. Had this been an actual anti-cat post, there would have been far more violence. And cow bell. And dog poop.
The cat ‘got away’ from the owner....didn’t you read the article? That happens ya know...a cat will escape ....I have an escape artist at home too....try to keep my eye on her but she also has plans.
I have some sympathy for both parties. While I don’t hate cats, I do hate a lot of cat owners. My neighbor, for example, has a cat that eats fish from my pond, craps in my flower beds and steals dog food and then phones the police when my dogs bark at it. If my neighbors cat was stuck in one of my trees I would do the same thing.
I’m reminded of the original “Police Academy” movie, where the lady alerts the cop that her cat is stuck in a tree, and the cop promptly pulls his service revolver and BLAM!...the cat is out of the tree!
Looks like an editor has been playing with the article since it was posted here. Some corrections have been made.
Yes, they come down eventually, but often get seriously or fatally injured in the process. They are capable of getting up (usually being chased up) into places they can’t get down from safely, because their claws allow them to climb vertical tree trunks, but not to stabilize themselves on the way back down the same trunk. By the time they’ve waited a few days, they’re weak from hunger and dehydration (and in some cases, may already be irreversibly on the way to the often deadly hepatic lipidosis), possibly with frostbitten paws in winter, and are very poorly equipped to brace themselves in a hard landing. A cat that breaks its spine or pelvis when falling out of a tree doesn’t end up as a “cat skeleton in a tree”, but ends up dead anyway (hopefully having been found quickly and taken to a vet for euthanasia, but depending on the location, it may die slowly and in pain without being found).
Thank you for that bit of information. So, I can shoot birds, neighbors dogs running loose down the road, possum, snakes, neighbors kids crossing my yard and it's all legal huh? Good.
Of course’as long a’s they follow this rule:
Every word ending in “S” with a consonant before it requires an apostrophe. If the word is a subjugated compo’nd, superlative with a comma no apostrophe is required unless’ it add’s clarity to a question’. In case’s of hyper’bolic refracting conflagration’s the apostrophe may substitu’e for any letter of ‘th alpha’’’’’’. (20)!
How does that effect you negatively? Cats pretty much keep to themselves and are pretty quiet for the most part.
Yep, I’ve caught them before, and a raccoon or two.
Cats hate you, too. Nanny nanny neener neener.
I read the article and am familiar with that part of town. I bought my dog from a lady who lived a couple blocks from there. I had house cats and know they can get loose, but I don’t know the history with that particular animal, whether or not the owner lets it out at night or keeps it under lock and key.
running wild is not being on a leash.....