In what Pennsylvania SPCA staffers are calling a "dramatic rescue," a cat stuck for nearly four days at the top of a 40-foot utility pole outside the organization's North Philadelphia headquarters was finally salvaged this afternoon.
"We are extremely grateful to PECO for their assistance and for going
beyond the call of duty to help us," PSPCA CEO Jerry Buckley said in a statement. "Not all of our animal rescues are this dramatic, of
course, but everyone – from our staff to visitors and clients of the
Pennsylvania SPCA – is relieved that it had a good outcome and she is
The one-year-old female black and white cat, named "Sparky" by employees, was dropped off outside the PSPCA's Erie Avenue center by an unknown person Sunday afternoon. Before workers had a chance to take it inside, it was startled by a dog being brought in for a visit to the veterinary clinic and ran up the pole. PSPCA workers attempted to lure the cat down with food and gave it time to retreat on its own, but it remained there until this afternoon.
A PECO mechanic was called to assist with the retrieval due to the dangers posed by the electricity running through the high-tension pole. Using a boom lift, he was able to reach the cat, which a representative described as "terrified," as PSPCA staffers waited on the ground with nets and blankets, ready to catch the feline if it jumped or fell.
A fire department unit was also on the scene to provide back-up assistance, if necessary. The PECO worker was able to scoop up the feline with a net provided by the PSPCA and bring it safely to the ground.
The cat is being treated for dehydration and malnutrition at the PSPCA’s Shelter Hospital and will be
available for adoption after it has recovered.