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Woman in trouble for calling 911 for kitten Emerg.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
To be honest this just irks me. I thought firefighters were good caring people, but I guess not.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?se...cal&id=3684300

Admittedly, she shouldn't have lied to them, but it seems they wouldn't have come out, if she'd have told the truth.
post #2 of 24
Jamie did nearly the same thing as a kitten. Our street was dug up for work on the sewers, and he got out and crawled into a pipe. We couldn't get him out, so we called the fire company (directly, not the emergency number), and they said they'd come if we paid. They couldn't get him out, so they called in the water company, which did. It was a whopping bill (we ended up paying about $1,000 ourselves, and our insurance covered the rest; we had "personal liability insurance" coverage for him, which is required for dogs here, but not cats), and ended with our pet insurance being canceled, and Jamie blacklisted, but they did come.
The question is, who can you call if your pet is stuck someplace? Tree cutting companies will rescue cats from trees, but what if it's a pipe, wall, or roof? I think there should at least be some sort of standard policy, with the fire company doing the rescue, but billing the pet owner for the time.
post #3 of 24
it is a living creature ... I dont care if its human , feline , reptilian it should be saved... Possible call the wildlife dept if you have such..
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
it is a living creature ... I dont care if its human , feline , reptilian it should be saved... Possible call the wildlife dept if you have such..

yea I agree!!!
post #5 of 24
Did she try calling animal control? It just seems like that would be the first place to go if your city's animal control did urgent rescues. Many do in big cities, but I'm not familiar with her city.

If it was no one's job to save the kitten, then what were they supposed to do? I'm not a fan of dishonesty, but you have to do what you have to do in a situation where there's no other way to get the proper help (and the article again, sisn't say if animal control did 911-type rescues in her city). If there were no other way to save one of my cats, I'd be lying too, to be blunt. A life is a life is a life.

Though I can understand that in a city like the one I live in, if the fire department were put in charge of rescuing rescuing animals, they wouldn't have time to put out fires. But we have an Animal Care and Control Unit and an SPCA with humane law enforcement and rescue units. Like I said, we don't know how this woman's city operates so it's hard to make a call.
post #6 of 24
I suppose the question is what would have happened if people had died in another Emergency because this unit was trying to rescue the cat?

She should have at least attempted to call the SPCA or equivelent if they couldnt have helped they probably could have pointed her in the correct direction. Lying to the fire department was just plain wrong.
post #7 of 24
My dad works the night shift for the power company, being responsible for dispatching the electrician people who fix the major stuff. He said that they are not allowed to go out and rescue cats in trees or poles because they can do harm to them with their claws and the cat will come down when it is hungry anyway - I have seen cats come down from trees, they certainly know their way down!
I think it was wrong of that woman to lie about her baby being stuck in the pipe - I am pretty sure if she had called the police non emergency number, they would have referred her to the right people. Like xDx said, what if a human had died while they were rescuing a cat? I know a life is a life is a life, but there is someone out there who can help.

I am pretty torn on this issue.
post #8 of 24
The problem is that most people don't know whom to call. I live in a semi-rural area, with volunteer fire companies and decentralized animal control offices, a forestry bureau, and the police. If wild boars started tearing up yards on our street (a common occurrence), I'd call the forestry office. But whom do I call if I spot an obviously rabid fox? The police would presumably react more quickly than the forest rangers at 5 or 6 a.m.. I had that experience in the city I work in, a major metropolis with no forestry office, and police officers came and shot the fox (tests showed that it was indeed rabid). Or suppose a steer that has escaped the local slaughterhouse is wreaking havoc on the local highway? It can take hours to find the "right" people to deal with the situation, so perhaps the "911" personnel should be schooled in directing calls to the right address.
post #9 of 24
I think the lady was obviously in the wrong. I know of one individual who died from a heart attack because some guy lied on a 911 call. If they had not been dispatched on the liar's call they would have gotten to the heart patient five minutes earlier than the ambulance that did arrive. That man is dead because some idiot was lazy and didn't want to take his wife to a redi-med for a superficial scratch. This woman could have killed someone. The volunteer fire department in my town will send out firefighters to rescue dogs, etc, but you have to call their regular phone number. They will contact men who are familiar with water rescue, or whatever type of rescue it is and they will voluntarily get the dog. They did this twice last year. You simply cannot use 911 for a non-emergency call. This woman is lucky she isn't facing jail time, as I believe strongly that she should.
post #10 of 24
I think it was wrong of her, but people do panic in these situations and often cannot think who else to call than the official emergency service. I agree that it would be a good idea if emergency operators had a list of other organisations and could pass on this information. If that was advertised then people would feel no need to lie. Failing that, how about a campaign to get people to call the local police (who should be educated on who is appropriate)? Either way it would save the time of those whose job is to go to real human emergencies.
post #11 of 24
Short thread hijack...
Jamie, I did not know about this escapade of yours.
You crawled into a into a sewer pipe & had to be rescued?
The things that you get yourself into are an endless source of amazement & laughter.
End of hijack
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Jamie did nearly the same thing as a kitten. Our street was dug up for work on the sewers, and he got out and crawled into a pipe.
post #12 of 24
She did do wrong in calling 911, as so many people do. Here in the US, one can simply dial "O" for operator who will put a call through to local authorities. for instance, if someone is tampering with your car, that is not a life-threatening emergency, and the police, or sheriff should be called instead. However, in our rural area, the law enforcment agencies aren't manned 24hrs. at the front desk, but operator can connect to a direct line to the watch commanders at the different agencies.
But, I applaud her for being willing to "take the heat" in order to get the kitten rescued, since it seems that she was unable to find a sympathetic agency. And after the first 911 call, the 911 operator was obligated, IMO, to tell her not to call 911 for that anymore, and should have referred her to other agencies. Too bad she couldn't have called Animal Cops Houston!
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
If it was no one's job to save the kitten, then what were they supposed to do? I'm not a fan of dishonesty, but you have to do what you have to do in a situation where there's no other way to get the proper help (and the article again, sisn't say if animal control did 911-type rescues in her city). If there were no other way to save one of my cats, I'd be lying too, to be blunt.
If my kitten's life were in danger and no one would help, I would resort to devious means if that's what it took to save her.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by consumercity
If my kitten's life were in danger and no one would help, I would resort to devious means if that's what it took to save her.
I have to say me too! If there were another option that I was aware of, of course I would use it. Sometimes there isn't!
post #15 of 24
I think she was wrong in deceiving them..However, I would also likely panic.
I would have likely also called the city first and exhausted every avenue.
But what's done is done.
As a further preventive to others, they should fine her (likely will I am guessing) for the cost of the rescue.
post #16 of 24
I think if people call for pet issues, they should be heavily fined the first time and put in jail if it happens again. That is just because they lied AND could have put people's lives at risk, but I think their panic is understandable--the first time. Hopefully after the first time they'd know what to do if something like that happened again, or know preventative measures to take.

I'm glad the firefighters helped her. I'd be surprised and appalled if they didn't.
post #17 of 24
I agree that she shouldn't of lied about the situation but the 9-1-1 people should of been able to direct to the appropriate department or organization. But you know, if it came down to it and it was my cat and no one would help me I'd lie too. I wouldn't be able to have my kitty's life in danger.
post #18 of 24
I don't get it. Why would she be in trouble when the emergency was real?
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
it is a living creature ... I dont care if its human , feline , reptilian it should be saved... Possible call the wildlife dept if you have such..
I was thinking the same thing. Poor kitty. Glad they actually helped her though
post #20 of 24
We had a woman pull up to park her car, and she told us that she heard a cat crying.

We, clerical staff and all, ran out to look under her car, and we could see the kitten, but couldn't reach her. We asked some firefighters, who were on their way to the gym, to please helps us get the kitten out, and they REFUSED.

One of the guys got a jack out and jacked up the car just enough to let us slither under to get her. The employee who took her home, had to take her to the vets because she had burned her paws holding on for dear life.

I know firefighters are very brave and deserve all the respect and honor we can give them, but l ike anything else, sometimes they really make you angry.
post #21 of 24
In NY (as some of you have prob seen on animal planet) we have the ASPCA Police and they would respond to situations like this. (Another thank god I live in NY.)
post #22 of 24
I think that I would consider my cat being trapped an emergency. At least before this post. I mean besides my parents, brother, and bf my cat is probably the "person" I care most about in the world. And if my parents, brother, or bf were trapped in something I would call, so why not for my cat? I would have never thought that calling 911 would be wrong. But now I know so I'll keep non-emergency numbers handy.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by esrgirl
You simply cannot use 911 for a non-emergency call. This woman is lucky she isn't facing jail time, as I believe strongly that she should.

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU on this point-- I was raised in a house where both my parents were volunteer fire fighters and volunteer paramedics. I remember all those calls i was drug to. I was appalled when i moved to the city i live in now and the city and county personnel use 911 for their answering service. You wouldnt believe the response from city residents I got when i wrote a very angry letter-- I even reported the misuse to the state 911 commission. Every city and county employee who had ever used 911 as an answering service got a serious fine. 911 is for EMERGENCIES only. I refuse to call it for dogs loose in the neighborhood getting into garbage ( yet we are still forced to) and other minor things like that. I love animals and a month or two ago when that cat was in a tree in my neighbors yard for 3 plus days i never once called 911-- it took me several hours to find the right phone numbers and convince the fire department to come out but i didnt call 911-- I cant tell you how many different departments of the city i called (including animal control and they said they would shoot the cat to get it down, yes kill it) Its appalling how many children and adults even who do not know how much the 911 system should be respected. My children know that 911 is not to be played with and if they do, its serious consequences. This is even more important in rural areas where the volunteer fire departments and ems services are located. I grew up in one of those areas. I helped start the volunteer fire department in my very rural community back in 1989. My dad just gave up being the fire chief of our local department this year. he has been the fire chief since the FD inception in 1989. My mom is still to this day the FD treasurer. I cant tell you how many stupid unnessecary calls we went to in the middle of the freaking nite because some idiot stubbed his toe, or forgot to get her birth control medication refilled or because some drunk was peeing on someones lawn and they called it in as a gunshot or something. Nothing ever happened to these people. It really irritates me. The lady who did this obviously lives in or around Houston, TX area -- their SPCA is decent sized and they respond to calls all over several surrounding counties. I dont know why this lady didnt call them. They probably could have helped. I hate it when people dont think.
post #24 of 24
Amitya,

My husband is a volunteer firefighter/EMT, my dad and grandpa retired as professional firefighters, and my mom was an EMT, so yeah, these things really make me mad!! Dispatchers simply do not have the time to act as a community information line and they shouldn't. They are there to help you perform CPR, deliver a baby, provide care to a burn victim, etc, before the fire department can get there. They have to be in constant contact with the police and EMS, they can't take important time away from protecting the community to act as your personal operator.

Here is a fun story from one of the departments my husband works with, complete with pictures-

http://www.huntertownfire.com/Articl...502100.2625238

Firefighters save animals all the time. My husband's ice water rescue training on Wednesday night showed them exactly how to save dogs. Most departments have a protocal for this. You have to keep in mind that this is not a super large city- so they can do this. If you are in a bigger city the department has bigger problems to deal with- they have more calls. the St. Joseph Volunteer Fire Department here in town has a joke on their website that says "do not call us if your cat is stuck in a tree. Just open a can of tuna and put it at the bottom of the tree, eventually the cat will come down."
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