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.
‘It seems like I just have to sit here and watch my cat starve to death or freeze to death, Michael said.”
I’m guessing it will come down long before that. Cats are fairly smart.
Ooh I would have to get that guy on animal cruelty for not allowing help
Probably because the other neighbor lets his cat run loose in the officer's yard.
“...hoping the cat would come down on it’s own.”
AAARRRRGGGHHHHHH! Can’t anyone use (or NOT use) an apostrophe properly?
One of the best lines I have ever heard regarding cats stuck in trees came from the Chief of the LA Fire Deptment when he announced that they would no longer rescue cats from trees.
He said in all my years of being a fireman I have yet to see a cat skeleton in a tree. They come down when they get hungry enough.
“Cant anyone use (or NOT use) an apostrophe properly?”
About 20% of the time, apparently.
what happened to firemen rescuing cats?
a bucket truck from the street should reach with no problem.
It's unclear who's property they did it from.
Should be 'whose'.
My brother climbed a tree to get a cat once and ended up scratched all to heck. He went to the doctor and the doctor asked him what had happened. My brother told him about rescueing the cat and the doctor said, “Have you ever seen any cat skeletons in trees?”
You do now what happens when a bucket truck comes near them ?
I don’t know....it was up there 9 days?!
Happy New Year, afternoon radio sucks without Rush. I’m so bored at work!
Mom...is that you?
Two words: pellet gun. I really like house cats, but neighbors who let their cats run wild don’t get much sympathy from me any more. I keep hoping the big hoot owl I see on my fence early in the mornings would get a couple of the various cats running loose in the neighborhood, but no such luck so far.
I missed that one! It’s the misuse of “it’s” that really gets on my nerves, though, especially by professional journalists and their editors.
looks like it came down just fine :)
How do cats run wild? What exactly defines running wild?