Cape Coral Firefighters rescue cat trapped between two buildings

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Photo: Cape Coral Fire Dept.


A young cat used up a couple of its nine lives after being trapped between two south Cape buildings today, but thanks to Cape Coral firefighters and Animal Services he still has a few left.

Around noon on Thursday Cape Coral firefighters assisted Lee County Animal Services when employees at a chiropractic office heard a cat crying for help. “We could hear a cat crying from inside the file room,” said Kim Kanefke, an employee with Wunderlich Chiropractic at 1402 Lafayette Street.  “We figured it must have been outside between the two buildings.”

An investigation found the male cat estimated at 1-2 years old wedged in the space about three inches wide between 1402 and 1404 Lafayette Street. Employees called Lee County Animal Services and Officer Kelsey Watkins responded. After about 45 minutes of working to free the cat without success, a call was placed to the Fire Department.

The crew from Engine 1 including Lt. Jerry Doviak, Craig Matthews and Michael Harper along with Battalion Chief Christopher Cox worked with Officer Watkins for an additional 20-30 minutes but was able to finally free the cat. It was suspected the cat may have chased a rodent in between the buildings but got stuck and was unable to back up or turn around. It is unknown how long the animal had been trapped but it was thought it could have been up to 12 hours.

Because of the tight fit, firefighters used a long reaching pike pole, normally used to pull down ceilings in a structural fire, along with the noose used by Animal Services to move the cat forward out into the open. The animal was none the worse for wear save for some scrapes and abrasions caused by being wedged against the stucco covering of both buildings.

Once the cat was rescued, he was given an identification number and transported to Lee County Animal Services for evaluation and adoption. Officer Watkins nicknamed the cat ‘Chance’. “Because the chiropractor that owns the building is named Chance Wunderlich and because the cat got a second ‘chance’ at living, it seems only appropriate,” said Fire Department spokesman Michael Heeder. “Whether it is a dog trapped in the canal, ducklings, trapped in a storm drain, a cat trapped between buildings or a loved one trapped in a wrecked car, our firefighters take every rescue effort seriously.”

Chance is one of many domesticated animals that Lee County Animal Services in need of a forever home after being rescued. For anyone interested in checking on and adopting ‘Chance’, his ID is A585602. There are many other dogs and cats that are also available. Anyone interested can call (239) 533-7387 or log on to