We had this HUGE discussion in school about firefighting, and the first words my friend (he's from another country) said about Firefighters is that they put out fires and rescue animals from high places.
Has your company gone to rescue a cat, or maybe even a dog, from a high point?
We used to do it many years ago until one day, a cat about 40 feet up in a tree. Fire fighter went up, grabed the cat,the cat clawed his face and bit him. Fire fightrer threw the cat to the ground and cat landed on his feet. The cat then ran back up the tree to the spot he was and our fire fighter went to the hospital. Had quite the problem with the insurance covering this and workers compensation. Insurance at the time felt this was not a fire fighters job. The cat was a stray and the fire fighter almost had to complete the rabies series as a precaution. Not worth it. Keep everybody away from the base of the tree, put out food and the cat will come down when he is hungry. If people are standing there all day the cat will not come down.
If cats were so valuable they would be kept indoors at all times. If a cat owner (with total disregard for both the cat's safety and well being as well as that of the smaller, indigenous wildlife) chooses to allow her cat to run free then it should be of no concern to the fire service.
Dogs, on the other hand, warrant at least as much effort (maybe more, depending on the dog or the person in question) to save as that of a person. I mean, for gods (plural intended) sake man, we're talking DOGS.