A group of determined fireman stopped at nothing to rescue a young female kitten from a storm drain in Connecticut. When nearby business owners heard meowing Monday, they tracked the sad sound down to a grate behind the buildings. They quickly called the Fire Department and local animal rescue group Halfway Home Rescue, Inc.
Having begun rescuing abandoned, abused and homeless animals in the area since 2004, Halfway Home has saved over 5,000 lives!
This was not the first time the fire crews and shelter workers have teamed up to pull a helpless soul from despair.
Treasurer and rescuer for the shelter, Carey Ann Dadio, says battalion Chief Gary Couture has always supported and assisted the shelter when possible.
No doubt about it, the Hamden Professional Firefighters Local 2687 gave this rescue effort 110%.
When the grate blocking the kittens escape couldn’t be lifted easily, the crew tried everything they could to succeed. Cautious of the kitten below, Fireman Brian Gagnon took a large mallet to the edges of sealed grate, but still couldn’t knock it loose.
Hours went by with no success. They even pulled out the jaws of life to try to pry it open but were unable to free the grate without endangering the kitten further. Finally a tow truck was called to the scene and large chain was used to yank the barrier free.
Fireman Brian then lowered a camera into the dark drain to determine the best plan of action.
From the camera footage, she didn’t appear to be fleeing. He slowly climbed into the hole with a bag in case the kitten was feral and fought her heroes.
As tensions were lifting after the first obstacle had been removed, crew members joked about finding loose change, it luckily NOT being a day the Boston Red Sox were playing the NY Yankees (because they’d all be watching the game) and having sardines ready to tempt the kitten…or in case Brian became hungry in the hole.
But it didn’t take too long and the little girl was pulled from the danger zone.
She was taken by Carey and rushed to the shelter to begin the healing process. Right away they noticed some heartbreaking news.
Not only was she starving and dehydrated, she also had one paw that was deformed. They weren’t sure if it was from the fall into the sewer or a defect she was born with. They bathed her, gave her fluids and baby food and she was scheduled to visit the vet first thing the next morning. No one knew just how long she’d been in the dark alone, scared, wet and injured.
Finally starting to realize she was safe and now the filth of the sewer was washed off, she happily purred while being dried.
At the vet, they received some sad news about the little girl, now named Bree after her hero, Brian.
When she had fallen down into the hole, she had dislocated and fractured her elbow. Unfortunately the leg would have to be amputated. They wouldn’t be able to perform the surgery until Bree was healthier and strong enough to withstand the procedure. And this was not a cheap fix.
It is estimated that it will cost at least $1000 for the operation!
The shelter shared her story on their Facebook page and started fundraising for the costs that day. It took just over 1 day for their supportive following to raise the money for Bree!
The shelter assures everyone that any funds not needed specifically for Bree will go to helping the more than 600 other animals a year they rescue. They happily announced on their Facebook page the update on the lucky kitten, sure to express their gratitude.
Thank you so much to all who donated, shared, and sent support for this little peanut. She has officially been named “Bree” after the wonderful firefighter (Brian Gagnon) who climbed into the sewer to save her.
They promise me that one day I will be a beautiful, healthy kitty. Thanks to my friends at the Hamden Fire Dept, etc; I was rescued from a storm drain. Those super kind people spent hours working to save my life.
Every donation and every share are much appreciated.
Now Bree will have a chance at life.
Dadio ensures everyone she is recovering nicely and that she’ll be a big, fluffy beauty. Once she has the surgery and is fully healed, she’ll be put up for adoption by the shelter.
The lucky family that brings this girl into their home will always recall how Bree got her name; from the wonderful fireman who never gave up on the small soul.