Rachael Carlson, who works for AniMeals, a no-kill adoption center and animal food bank in Missoula, MT, had plans to get snacks and then watch a movie. However, her plans abruptly changed, and the fire department had to bring the Jaws of Life to rescue a kitten named Dusty.
As Rachel and her fiance, Barry, walked to the store, they had envisioned getting some tasty treats. Then, they saw a kitten running down the Orange Street underpass tunnel. Along either side of the tunnel, the kitten had no way out except down the drain.
“Anyone that has driven that knows there is really no way out except going forward or in this case find the nearest storm drain and drop 3ft,” AniMeals wrote on Facebook.
Sure enough, the kitten ended up in the drain. From there, the rescuers had to rely on their hearing in the busy underpass. Listening closely, Carlson and Barry tracked the kitten’s sounds to a very formidable-looking metal storm drain. Unfortunately, the heavy-duty grate made it impossible for anyone to reach her.
Anyone that is until Rachel called on the City of Missoula Fire Department to the rescue.
Missoula Fire Department Brings the Jaws of Life
Soon the fire truck arrived, the firefighters had the Jaws of Life ready. Usually, this equipment pries open crashed cars to help trapped passengers, but sometimes they save tiny furballs too.
As you can see in the pictures, the men worked together to pry open the drain. Best of all, they could catch the scared 6-8 week-old kitten. Amazingly, with all the commotion, Dusty stayed nearby.
In the photos, you can see them hold the kitten like a furry baby.
“The kitten appears fine,” wrote the rescuers.
From there, Rachel and Barry had a change of plans to care for Dusty.
“Instead of snacks and a movie, it will be settling little Dusty in the bathroom for the night. Thank you, Rachel & Barry.”
After taking the kitten to the shelter, AniMeals updated the firemen that the kitten “lovingly named Dusty” was doing well in foster care.
In the comments, people reacted to the dramatic rescue.
“Wow! Talk about being at the right place at the right time! Everyone involved in this rescue is a hero. Thank you all! ❤” said Jessica Woods.
“Amazing story and amazing people 👏 Glad the kitty was saved,” said Mary Boisselle.
Following the rescue, the story made it to the local radio and news.
🎊 Dusty Finds Furever Home 🎊
A couple of months later, AniMeals updated everyone on Dusty. As it turns out, the woman named Leslie, who fostered her, decided to adopt her.
“🎊Dusty went home!!🎊
“Remember the kitten rescued from a storm drain?! She has found her forever home!!” they shared.
“…It turns out her foster loved her too much to let her go!! We are so happy that an employee found Dusty and that she has found her happy ending!!”
For more, follow AniMeals on Facebook, and if you like, donate to help save kittens like Dusty.