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Virginia dog climbs tree chasing cat -- really -- but has to be rescued

Gavin Stone, The Virginian-Pilot on

Published in News & Features

Tator the hound can climb trees, if properly motivated. Tator is not nearly as good at getting down.

Virginia's Newport News Animal Welfare Division received a call about Tator around 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 22, 2024. The bluetick coonhound was stuck about 20 feet up a tree, not far from the cat he had been chasing. Tator chased Boris the cat onto a branch, then realized the gravity of his situation and would not go farther.

When firefighters arrived, Boris was sitting just out of Tator’s reach. Firefighters used a ladder to reach Tator and safely brought him down. Boris came down on his own.

Both Tator and Boris were fine.


Tator was “exceptionally proud of his unintended tree-climbing,” Animal Welfare said in a Facebook post.

“Today, the Fire Department learned that dogs can climb up trees,” the post read. “Tator learned he can’t climb down trees.”


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