The Sacramento Fire Department has some people feeling a little 'catty'.
The department's Facebook page posted a kitten rescue video Sunday Aug. 15, after a tiny cat got stuck between two fence posts. The video shows fire crews using a screwdriver to free the kitten from the uncomfortable situation. So far, the video has been viewed more than 44,000 times.
Sacramento Fire spokesperson, Chris Harvey, said they have people watching the video from all over the world.
Although the kitten rescue video has received an overwhelmingly positive response, not everyone feels warm and fuzzy about animal rescue videos.
According to Harvey, who posted the video of the kitten rescue, there's no additional cost for taking an animal-in-distress call.
"The crew is already on duty and being paid," he said. "Fuel cost is the only additional cost. The taxpayer is not paying an extra cost."
Harvey said they take animal rescue calls as long as the fire crew feels they can handle the situation safely. If it's too dangerous, they won't risk the safety of crew members.
He also said the department welcomes discussions with the City Council if there's concerns about how money is being spent but that traditionally, they are an 'all-risk organization', meaning they take on what the public needs when asking for help.
Cosumnes Fire Department Battalion Chief Kris Hubbard also said that taxpayers are not digging deeper into their pockets for critter rescues.
"There is no cost," Hubbard said. "We don't bill anyone for animal rescues just like we wouldn't bill anyone for a structure fire. That money is part of what we do."
Hubbard said the only cost is in fuel and staff, but that's all in the budget. He said fire engines get about five to eight miles to the gallon, so although the trucks aren't fuel-efficient that's the only additional cost.
In West Sacramento, animal rescue calls are mainly handled by animal control services. Rebecca Ramirez, Deputy Chief at West Sacramento Fire Department, said fire crews serve mainly as support to animal control.
She said if called, the department does respond to animal rescue situations-- at no additional cost to the taxpayer-- as long as there's not a more important call to go to.
"There's a pecking order. It [animal rescues] are considered a lower priority call. If there's a life-threatening situation, that's what we're going to," Ramirez said.
It may seem like firefighters respond to many 'kitten-in-the-tree' calls but Ramirez said, the West Sacramento Fire Department only had 13 animal rescues in the past two years.
So go ahead, enjoy that kitten rescue video. The only thing it'll cost you is that warm and fuzzy feeling.