Three small kittens were thoughtlessly abandoned in front of a shelter in the wee hours of the night.
At 4:00 am on Tuesday morning, an unknown person left the fur-babies in front of Colony Cats and Dogs Shelter in Columbus, OH. The kittens were not placed in a container or left with any food or water!
Left free to wander dangerously unsupervised, kittens did what kittens will do.
Before scampering off, the three adorable babes noticed some of their larger extended feline family members watching them from behind the shelter windows.
Security cameras at the strip mall location caught a heartbreaking interaction between the animals. It is almost as if you can feel the confusion and longing in the kittens as they curiously inspect the shelter cats through the glass.
The shelter runs a cage-free cat adoption center so many of the temporary residents were able to freely view the trio. Only mere inches separated the brave kittens from safety.
When volunteers arrived a few hours later, only the gray/peach torbie, short for tortoiseshell-tabby, was waiting patiently at the locations entrance. Seeing the security footage and realizing there were 2 more missing, the shelter quickly set out to find the others.
The posted on their Facebook page, requesting help from citizens and any information regarding the situation. More volunteers soon arrived and they were able to locate the gray & white kitten in the bushes of the complex’s courtyard soon after, but the 3rd remained at large.
For over 2 hours, the team searched tirelessly in the rain knowing the kitten was likely hiding out from the storm. They heard random tiny mews but could not track where the cry was coming from.
Then one volunteer, a man named Jerry, said he knew where the kitten was! He heard meowing coming from the drainpipe that the downspout from the rain gutter emptied into. Sure enough, when he whistled down into the pipe, we heard the kitten meow back.
After the drenching downpours all day, the flooded drain was a perilous location to the helpless kitten.
Local firefighters were contacted and crews immediately launched a rescue mission. A team of heroes from the Columbus Fire Department (trucks #11 & #27 specifically recognized on the shelters Facebook page) all worked together to free the kitten. The firemen dropped a camera down the drain pipe, but still could not see the kitten.
They knew that pipe drained into a manhole in the parking lot. While all this transpired, another volunteer lay on top on the manhole with a flashlight in the pouring rain watching to see if the kitten came down the pipe. She spent close to two hours laying like that in wait. That’s dedication!
Lori, one of the volunteers at the scene, recalls the rescue.
“The fire department said they would flush him out. Of course, I got upset because I thought the force of the water and too much water would kill this tiny kitten. But one person put ping pong balls in the pipe and the fire department used a slow stream to make sure we had the right pipe coming into the manhole. We did.
Then one fireman took a huge net, crawled into the manhole in the pouring rain (he got completely soaked), and those hero firemen slowly turned on the water – and the tiny kitten came down the pipe and into the net. A volunteer with Colony Cats, was waiting there with a warm towel. They pulled the kitten up and put him in the towel. All I remember doing is asking, “Is he alive? Is he alive?” He was. He is. And he’s perfect!”
Although the footage here doesn’t reveal the moment the kitten was pulled from the watery depths, you can sense the tension and excitement from the crew leading up to it.
Happily, all 3 kittens are now safe, protected and dry at a volunteer fosterers home. They should be available for adoption in the next 4-6 weeks.
The adorable trio of misfits, now has names to match their purrsonalities; and they couldn’t be more fitting!
Piper is, of course, our black and white miracle tuxie pulled from the storm drain.
Pearl is the pretty torbie tuxie girl; she came from a hard, stressful environment and she is perfect and beautiful and luminescent.
The white and gray boy is called Puck. He is named after the mischievous little nymph who scampered through the woods in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (since he was found scampering in the bushes).
We are extremely grateful for organizations like Colony Cats and Dogs as they’ve experienced first hand the plight of these discarded animals all too often.
“Unfortunately, what starts as adoption sometimes ends as abandonment, with owners deserting pets instead of seeking more humane solutions. Unable to fend for themselves, these discarded cats and dogs are subject to numerous stresses and hazards in the outdoor environment – predatory animals, traffic, human abuse, harsh weather, parasites, disease, poisonous plants, dangerous chemicals, and malnutrition.
Frightened and confused, abandoned pets may flee or hide and can accidentally end up trapped inside a shed or garage, making the possibility of rescue less likely. After much suffering, many die alone and forgotten on the street, or may be euthanized at a shelter because there isn’t enough space to accommodate all strays.” – Excerpts from www.colonycats.org/aboutus
In fact, just a day before this story happened, they were involved in ANOTHER nail-biting rescue of a dog from a nearby sewer!
One of their volunteers heard barking while at her day job and followed it to a sewer grate, discovering the trapped dog. Located across from the fire department, she asked if they could assist her in rescuing the crying canine.
The town pulled out the big guns, bringing out their backhoe. Straders, the local garden center where the woman worked, gave them permission to dig a hole in their gravel parking lot to get the poor pooch out.
The dog is doing well and the shelter is working to find out if the pup has owners, but if no one comes forward, one of the fireman has stepped up and will adopt the luckily dog <3
Thank you to everyone at Colony Cats and Dogs and the Columbus and Jackson Township Fire Departments for their selfless acts of heroism! To learn how you can help or donate to Colony Cats and Dogs, please visit them here.