There are the nice guys, and then there are the nice guys who spend their spare days saving the world — one cat at a time.
Tom Otto and Shaun Sears are your average, feline-loving men. But what’s unique about the pair is that they’ve taken their tree climbing skills and turned them into a non-profit organization that helps cats in “high” risk situations.
Canopy Cat Rescue was founded in 2009 and operates on a “donation only” basis. Otto and Sears don’t rescue cats to make an easy dollar.
They have simply made it their mission to help cats and their families whenever and whenever there’s a need. “Any time, day or night, in all kinds of weather,” their website says.
Otto and Sears both grew up with a love for cats and are certified arborists — making them expert tree climbers. If you have a cat stuck in a tree near Woodinville, Washington, these are your heroes.
“We’re in touch with our cat side,” Sears said in a video for The Dodo. He explained it is their love of cats that sets them apart from other tree climbers. Otto added that this experience has made him “love cats even more.”
Canopy Cat Rescue began as a small feat, with rescue calls coming in just a couple times each month. It has grown exponentially since then. Otto and Sears say a busy month will bring in close to 70 rescues.
More than anything, the guys want to treat every cat as if it was their own and use their talent to help others who can’t climb high trees.
“Giving the cat back to the family, they’re just so thankful,” Otto said. “A lot of times there’s hugs, tears. It’s that kind of stuff that is really rewarding for us to keep doing what we do.”
It’s rewarding for the families of the cats too. The Facebook reviews are glowing. “They are very patient, and love doing what they do!” Nicole Christiansen wrote. “I have total respect for them! Highly recommend them!”
“They are nice and just simply amazing,” Michelle Turner said in her review. “I would absolutely recommend this company to ANYONE and EVERYONE. 5 stars isn’t enough.”
Looks like every city needs a Canopy Cat Rescue. Who knows? Maybe more tree climbers will catch some inspiration from Otto and Sears: cat whisperers and heroes!
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