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 are a small rural department. We don't have animal control for calls such as these. In my 30 plus years we have rescued deer from mud bogs (we have a hovercraft to go places like that), trapped dogs, exotic birds, and went on cat rescues. We depend a lot on fundraisers in our community and a little PR goes a long way. With many of the cat calls, just our showing up, even if we don't do anything, goes a long way for funding, whether it be from support of our small tax levy or our fundraisers. None of it ever interfered with our responses to emergencies but we don't run EMS, just fire and rescue.
My Department rescued a cat from a tree last summer, Got stuck about 50 feet up and would not come down, the elderly owner asked for assistance from the local PD, they said to call the Fire Department. Although an odd request that will proberly never happen again in my fire career, it was really good PR for the Department.