A HEROIC tree surgeon who went to the rescue of a cat stuck 40ft up a tree ended up in hospital after being bitten for his good deed.

Joseph Lines went to the aid of Lorraine Dearsley in Creekmoor on July 8 after her four-year-old cat Sarah got stuck in the tree at Millfield Ponds for three days in temperatures of 30C.

Joe managed to scale the tree within minutes. However, he was bitten by Sarah as he attempted to bring her down to earth.

The entire incident was captured on a camera worn by Joe, who uploaded the footage to YouTube later the same day.

However, the bite became infected and Joe ended up in hospital on a drip.

Lorraine said: “Within two minutes he was in a tree and he got her but she bit him and as she came down, she bit me and then ran all the way home.”

Joe stepped in to help after Lorraine had put out a desperate plea on Facebook for help to retrieve Sarah.

Prior to Joe’s arrival, Vikki Ekema’s husband, Dan, who does rock climbing and lives in Hamworthy, attempted to get Sarah out of the tree using his safety ropes.

He sat in the tree for around four hours, but Sarah wasn’t budging.

Michelle Sheriff, who runs Animals Lost Found and Needing Help, also got involved by asking local radio stations to issue appeals for anyone who might be able to help to come forward and posted calls for help on her Facebook page.

Joe had been tagged by a friend on Facebook in one of Michelle’s posts and had been working in Southampton but dashed to Creekmoor to help on the Sunday.

Lorraine said: “I don’t know why she was up there. She may have been chased by a dog or a cat.

“She’s not normally a hunter as she’s too lazy and normally has a full belly but she’s back to her old self but poor old Joe’s ended up on a drip,” she added.

Vikki has since launched a fundraising appeal to cover Joe’s loss of earnings while he recovers.

She said: “I, like many others, followed Joe’s business Facebook page, thinking if ever we need a tree surgeon this is a good guy.

“I saw the following week he’d been off work with the infected bite and mentioned it to a friend who also volunteers for Wildlife in Need with me.

“He said in the post he hoped to be back up and working soon, so we didn’t realise how bad it was.”

So far £664 has been raised for Joe.

Lorraine said: “The power of social media.

“There are still some lovely people on this planet, even all those people who donated are amazing.

“They are all strangers and don’t know me, they don’t know my cat and they don’t know Joe.”

She added: “I cannot thank everybody enough.”

Anyone who wants to make a donation to the appeal for Joe can visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joetreesurgeon